Jonah and the Whale in the Jami’ al-tawarikh (c. 1400), Metropolitan Museum of Art
Have you noticed that when life is going smoothly something happens to interrupt? It can be something small like the phone ringing when you’re trying to finish a project. It can be something much larger like a life-threatening disease or accident, severe weather (blizzard, tornado, earthquake), birth, death, loss of a job… When you start getting a case of the ‘why me’ syndrome give some thought to these lives that were interrupted by God Himself.
Moses 2 forty year visits to the desert
Noah Stop, drop and build a boat on dry land
Abraham Leave everything and travel to an unknown location
Sarah Baby at 90
Joseph Dropped into a pit and sold as a slave
Mary Suddenly pregnant
Dramatic and sudden interruptions happen all the time. Case in point…Jonah. He was living a great life but God wanted more for him. So God told him to go to Ninevah. Jonah wasn’t having any of that. That city was known as the ‘Sin City’ of that era. So, Jonah decided to run to another place. Really!? Did he really think he could hide from God? Yes, he did. While on that journey, in the opposite direction, the ship he was on was hit with a threatening storm. Those on board determined it was Jonah who was causing the problem, so they threw him overboard. We know the rest of the story…
Let’s look at this from a different angle. This is a story of many miracles. The first two are in verse one.
First – God spoke!
Second – God allowed a person to hear His voice!
When He allows one of His creation to hear His voice it’s a huge privilege. We often hear His voice and don’t recognize it. The difference with us and Jonah is he knew exactly Who was speaking and choose not to obey.
Then, how do we know we’re hearing God? How do we know He’s interrupting us? Have you ever been listening to a speaker and the words seem just for you? Have you been reading the Word and it’s speaking to your heart? Henry Blackaby says we hear God through His Word, prayer, other Christians, worship, and life circumstances. God talks to us often through the Holy Spirit living in us and He expects us to listen.
When we hear God what are we to do? Easy answer, yet hard to follow through. We’re to drop everything and listen. He is saying I have a plan and I want you to be part of it.
The interrupted life is not always the big events I mentioned earlier. It can be a crying child, a husband or wife’s attention, a new friendship, an unexpected phone call, a knock on the door…. God wants us open to His voice! Anytime! Anywhere!
He is calling. Are you listening?
Blessings to you and yours!