17. The Lord sent a huge fish to
swallow Jonah, and Jonah was
in the stomach of the fish three days
and three nights. Jonah 1:17
Upon reading this verse, I was inspired by the fish. Last post, I was looking at the idea of Jonah being Covered by the Fish and how those looking, including Jonah himself saw it as being consumed, this post, I would like to highlight the fish himself, and expose my prayer and give forth thanksgiving for the role of the fish.
The scripture says The Lord “sent” a fish.
Have you ever prayed for a fish? No, not some fish, but a “fish!” The fish as discussed was a covering for Jonah. It allowed him to go before the Lord and renew his commitment to the Lord. The fish didn’t judge him, nor did it expose him. This was one special fish!
I don’t know about you, but I have been blessed to have several fishes sent to me. In my journey with the Lord, I have found myself in periods of disobedience, and other times where I had my signal light on and was headed towards the exit. In these times, I have been blessed to encounter those who were sent to me as a safe place. A place to heal, and place to resolve, a place to be restored, a place to confess, and a place to recharge. I thank God for the people and places that have been prepared for me to allow me to fall before the Lord without judgement and without running forward to expose my sin and failing.
This fish served Jonah this way. He heard his confession and his prayer, heard his cries and felt his tears. He heard every grown, and absorbed the vibration from his vocal petitions, and yet, not a word. Maybe this was the genius of God providing a fish? He could hear but could not speak, see and not report, and we all need this type of presence in our lives.
Have you ever been a fish for someone?
As much as I praise God for the fish in my life, I am happy to have served as a fish for others. Have you been a fish for someone?
In my life, I have been blessed to be in a trusted position for a few. It’s the compassion and empathy of receiving someone who is either broken or back-slidden, and providing a place and an environment to aid in the restoration of a person. Has God placed anyone in your heart and on your path to minister too? Have you ever looked at someone and seen their hurts? Felt pain from hearing someones story? Been obedient to the pull of God to share your space with them?
We, people; we, the church, need to provide this space for God’s people. We must help people to heal from their hurts and hangups. We must allow people the opportunity to face God in their frustration and their anger, and to come to resolution with God as to why and how His will is the best for us and the best for others.
Are you more Shark than Fish?
Thank God for “fish”, and thank God that we have been a “fish”, but Lord forbid that you or I would ever or have ever been a “shark”. Today as we see “#churchhurt” on the post of many, it is my fear that we have been more shark than fish. Our church body, over the years, have developed a reputation of hurting more than we have healed. Though many remain quiet, some have spoken out about their experience as a youth and as an adult.
This has resulted in many staying away from corporate worship, choosing to practice their faith at home, while others have strayed away, looking for love, peace and acceptance among other faiths, organizations and structures. Our lack of love, and our participation in the infliction of judgement and pain have lead to several movements, and the rise of spirituality.
We must receive the love of Christ, and be inspired to share that love with others. As Prophet and People, we should never run from Nineveh, rather we should run towards it. Our desire should be to see each person walking in the same freedom as we have enjoyed. This will happen when we choose to participate in the process God designs to make people whole.