Jonah is the story of a prophet commissioned by God to bring a message of judgement to an evil city (Nineveh). It was a message Jonah did not want to bring, as he feared the people might repent and God would show mercy to them. He did everything to escape the will of God and resorted to finding passage on a ship going in the opposite direction. However, God sent a storm so severe that the sailors feared for their lives and eventually worked out that the problem was Jonah. He told them to throw him into the sea, but they were reluctant to, until there was no other choice.
As I studied the story, I was led to consider what we might be holding on to that God wants us to let go of, specifically, someone we are always trying to rescue, someone who keeps getting themselves into a storm of unfortunate situations, often of their own making. They are loved by us and we believe it is our duty to try and rescue them time and time again, but nothing much seems to change and the storm around them and us continues to rage.
In the story of Jonah, the storm was sent by God with the specific intention of being given Jonah for Him to deal with, but the sailors’ good intentions kept getting in the way, and things continued to get worse. The situation only changed when the sailors threw Jonah into the raging sea and it suddenly became calm. When we are trying to be that person’s saviour God isn’t given the chance to be. We can sometimes be getting in the way.
I’m not suggesting we give up on that person or stop praying for them, but maybe God is encouraging you to fully surrender them to Him, perhaps to step back from intervening, no matter how hard that might be. So often we think we have to be answer and the one who comes to help or comes to the rescue, but are we getting in the way? We can have good intentions but if they are not led by the Holy Spirit, it is possible we can end up hindering God’s move in the person’s life?
It may be time to get out of their storm by giving them completely over to God so that He can have His very best way in their lives and show them His love as they hopefully get to a place of reaching out for Him. For you, perhaps the Lord wants to take you out of their storm to give you His peace as you leave your loved ones in His care.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I choose to bring to You today … (name them before the Lord). I confess before You that I am so tired of being in the storm that has engulfed me and that I have felt it has been my duty to ride to their rescue time and time again. Today I choose to hand them over to You, knowing that You love them even more than I do. I’m trusting that You will have Your perfect way in their lives, and I choose to step back from trying to rescue them and change them. Lord, may the emotional storm that has engulfed me cease as I entrust them into your care. Amen.
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