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God is always present, merciful, and loving

By PASTOR JUDI

BARTLETT-TOMES

First Baptist Church

Jonah: 2:10 “And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”

Life is often full of storms and crazy ups and downs. Even in the worst of storms God is present, merciful and loving. For Jonah, the storm was literally a pouring of rain and thrashing waves. His disobedience to God was clearly punishable.

Jonah had refused to go to Nineveh and deliver the message of salvation God had given to him for the Assyrian people. Because of his disobedience, he found himself in the belly of a great fish. Nearly dead, Jonah lived three days and three nights. Jonah said, “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord” (2:7)

Isn’t that how we are? Forgetting about God until we find ourselves in a huge mess. We seldom remember that it was our own fault that we arrived in that difficulty. Calling on our savior is a last resort rather than our first choice. We seek his help after the devastation rather than before.

Having a good relationship with the Lord doesn’t mean he is only around when we need something. Jonah realized that he needed to pray, but not for help or mercy. Jonah prayed and thanked God. He remembered all the things God had blessed him with. His prayer was a time to build and to restore his relationship with his creator. Do we maintain our relationship with God daily or only after we have exhausted our own energy? Do we remember to be thankful for all that he has blessed us with, or do we wait for the storm and then expect a quick response? Jonah’s prayer was answered when God commanded the fish to vomit him onto dry land. (2:10)

It wasn’t the most glamorous rescue, but it was a perfect salvation. God is always present, merciful, and loving. Perhaps he also has a sense of humor.

(“From the Pulpit” is a weekly sermon provided by the clergy members of the Weirton Ministerial Association)

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