We see in the book of Jonah the example of a prophet called and commissioned to speak to a nation on God’s behalf. It is not likely that Jonah had a history of disobedience. On the contrary, for God to call him to so great a task, Jonah had to have proven some faithfulness to get to this point.
God knew what was in Jonah’s heart and He was well aware that Jonah would allow his emotions to rule, refusing to minister to people he considered undeserving of God’s grace and forgiveness.
Instead of dealing with the heart-matters that God was confronting him with, Jonah took an open door that conveniently led him far from the task at hand. Though Jonah thought he would finally have peace, he was soon met with trouble. But Jonah’s heart was so hard, he slept right through a raging storm sent by God to turn him around. We too can be found sleeping in our sins while God calls out to us to wake up and turn back to the Lord for times of refreshing.
Like Jonah, the stubborn, prideful and rebellious refuse are shaken out of their sleep, thrown overboard into the sea of reality, swallowed up by adverse circumstances and hand-delivered to the place God wants them to be. Yet the affliction that brought Jonah back to a place of obedience was marked with grace and mercy.
In the midst of the storm sent by God, will you be discovered sleeping or will you awaken to His call, humble yourself and submit to His will – body, mind, soul and strength?