If there was one area in my life that I would say that I’ve struggled with the most, I would say that one area would have to be fear. I can definitely identify with the life of Jonah. There have been so many times in my life when God was directing me a certain way and I would immediately pack gear and high tail it for the hills. I was letting fear dictate how I would react. Fear would send me running in the opposite direction of where God was pointing. As I would repeatedly choose the way of Jonah, I was as he, tossed to and fro in the storms of life. As I continued in fear and disobedience I would choose to leave God’s presence and enter the “bottom of the ship,” and “the belly of the great fish” which were dark and frightening places. It was a continual cycle for me and each time I would run, the fear would seem to compound.
Doing things my own way and in my own strength was not working. One day my running came to a crashing halt as if hitting a brick wall. It wasn’t until a low point in my life that I decided to turn to God for relief and answers. And like Jonah from inside the great fish . . . I cried out in my distress to the Lord and He answered me ( Jonah 2:2). Sometime we have to come to end of ourselves before we will ever look up and turn to Him. But praise God, in that moment of me turning to him and trusting him, he broke that cycle of fear that was enslaving me. God loves us so much and we have to realize that we are broken and in desperate need of him. The opposite of fear is love and we know that God IS love.1 1 John 4:18 says . . .There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
As with Jonah, I love that even through my fear and disobedience, that God continued to relentlessly pursue me. And I am reminded that the “Good Shepherd” will leave the 99 to come after the one that is lost. Isaiah 43:1 says . . . But now this is what the Lord says, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel . . . “Fear Not, for I have called you by name; you are mine.
I have learned through all of this that I have a Savior that loves me beyond anything my limited human concept of love can understand. I’ve also learned not to say “no” to God. That still requires trust and obedience on my part, but as I continue to trust and obey, God honors my obedience with blessings. When God opens the doors, it is my job to take a step in faith. God is my “constant companion.” It says in Hebrews 13:5 . . . I will never leave thee or forsake thee. I’m so thankful for our constant companion the Holy Spirit who gives us the power and the desire to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:13).
Father God I thank you so much for your work on Calvary’s Cross. Thank you at that moment you have redeemed us from the pit of destruction. Thank you that you love us completely and desire for us to walk in freedom and newness of life. Help us to surrender to you in all areas of our life. We give you the honor and the glory. AMEN