Jonah 1:9-16 (NLT)
9 Jonah answered, “I am a Hebrew, and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land.” 10 The sailors were terrified when they heard this, for he had already told them he was running away from the Lord. “Oh, why did you do it?” they groaned. 11 And since the storm was getting worse all the time, they asked him, “What should we do to you to stop this storm?” 12 “Throw me into the sea,” Jonah said, “and it will become calm again. I know that this terrible storm is all my fault.” 3 Instead, the sailors rowed even harder to get the ship to the land. But the stormy sea was too violent for them, and they couldn’t make it. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, Jonah’s God. “O Lord,” they pleaded, “don’t make us die for this man’s sin. And don’t hold us responsible for his death. O Lord, you have sent this storm upon him for your own good reasons.” 15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him.
Jonah knew the Lords intent as He was running from his purpose. God had commanded him to go to Nineveh and he was heading the opposite direction. Jonah was even willing to pay to board a ship to keep from fulfilling the Lord’s purpose. So Jonah slept in the hold of the ship at peace knowing the Lord would do with him as He wished. When the sailors became of aware Jonah may be the reason for the storm they pleaded to God. They didn’t want to throw Jonah over, but they finally had no choice. And when they did the storm stopped and they acknowledged God’s power and vowed to serve Him.
Casting Crowns has a song “Does anybody hear her” that starts out with these verses:
She is running, A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction, She is trying But the canyon's ever widening, In the depths of her cold heart. So she sets out on another misadventure just to find, She's another two years older, And she's three more steps behind
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see? Or does anybody even know she's going down today, Under the shadow of our steeple, With all the lost and lonely people, Searching for the hope that's tucked away in you and me, Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
It’s a story of a woman running from God just as Jonah ran. The further she runs the more difficult life becomes and her heart grows colder. And she keeps running only to find out life is passing by and she is not gaining any ground. The question becomes does anyone see the desperation in this woman and recognize she needs someone to bring her back to the love of Jesus. There are so many people running from God because they have hit difficult areas in their life. Are you running from God and His plan for your life? Pray someone will reach out and lead you back to the Lord. Pray that God ministers to His people leading them in the direction they should go.