(They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.)
The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”
“Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.”
It cost Jonah to run from God.
He didn’t know that God had a plan for him. He most likely saw the storm as God’s inevitable wrath catching up to him, punishing him for running and not doing as he was asked. He spoke as a man who feels guilt, and see’s no further course of action – no reason left to hope. The story of the big fish swallowing a man is all too familiar to us, so we can lose perspective of what Jonah must have truly felt at that moment – without the privilege of knowing he was about to be rescued. He didn’t know anything further than he would go into the water, in the midst of a terrible storm, and most likely would drown.
Have you ever felt it was easier to run away than admit that you were wrong?
Our natural response is often to run, rather than to take responsibility. To run rather than to come back to God and ask him for another option, ask him for forgiveness, ask him to show us what his will is. Jonah had other options – he could have prayed, he could have asked God for mercy, he could have done many things. Instead he chose to once again ‘run’ from God. This time into the depths of the sea.
There is a simple truth that Jonah forgot. You can never outrun God – creator of heaven and earth. To someone who is attempting to run though this is frustrating. However, if you recognise that God will never cease running after you then it can bring you great peace and comfort.
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