I have thoroughly enjoyed going through this Advent journey with our family, and especially being able to share what God is speaking to me through Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, by Ann Voskamp.
I want to especially note again that this her book we are going through, because today's devotional was SO good I thought it would be best to quote straight from her!
Today, we looked further into the journey through the Old Testament leading to Bethlehem, and we came to the story of Jonah. Jonah the prophet did NOT want to follow God's command to go to sinful Ninevah. He had NO desire to be pushed out of his comfort zone and so instead, he ran from God (never a good idea!). This is what Ann says about how this story compares to us:
"Some days you just really don't want to show up, you don't want to do the hard things you have to do, and you don't want to do the very big or even very little things that God tells you to do. Which is exactly how Jonah felt..."
Does this sound at all familiar? (It does for me!)
Jonah boarded a boat in the opposite direction, and God caused a storm that nearly capsized the boat. Jonah knew exactly what was happening... God was trying to get his attention. So he told the others on the boat to throw him over, and he ended up in the belly of a huge fish... with a lot of time to reflect on life, to cry out to God, to ask for His forgiveness!
It was in these moments that...
"Jonah got the gift that we all get in every storm: the gift of seeing how much we need God."
Let that soak in for a bit...
Now, flash forward... to the moment when Jesus is in a boat, and a similar storm comes up and the disciples wake him having no idea what to do. And what does Jesus do? By His word, He would calm that storm, and reveal that He was truly God... and that He has power over every storm!
"... Jesus didn't calm just one storm but all our storms. Jesus throws Himself right into our angriest storms so He can calm our ugliest days. Since Jesus came to save us, there isn't a storm big enough to scare us."
What it came down to with Jonah was whether or not He believed God... whether or not He really trusted Him with his life.
And what it comes down to with us is the same thing. Doe we believe God? Do we trust Him with our lives?
He has been performing miracles since... well, for eternity, I imagine! (The whole "outside-of-time-and-space-thing" is well beyond my comprehension!) He has given us His Word, FULL of those miracles... and we have proof in the text that in the midst of life, no matter what we have going on... He can be trusted! He is still performing miracles today... and if we give our lives over to Him, we will see even more amazing things than we could ever imagine!
Today... let's thank God for the miracle of Jesus, for the blessing of His calling on our lives, for even the storms that bring us to our knees, and ask for forgiveness for the times we haven't trusted Him- committing TODAY to put our faith in Him and His plan!