October 1, 2016
Back on Track
Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. – Jonah 2:4
Recently, a young man who had drifted away from the Lord asked for prayer. He said, “Pray that I will get back on track again. I need to get things in order. I need to get out of this rut.”
That is a good prayer to pray. Jonah said a similar prayer from deep within the confines of a wet, slimy fish! He got there because he had not wanted to obey God, and had gone the opposite direction of where God had sent him. He thought he could hide from God, and found himself in a predicament that he could not resolve. There was no way out.
Does Jonah’s story sound familiar? Sometimes, when we do not want to obey the Lord in a matter, we might try to hide from Him. Perhaps we might stay away from church services and Christian family and friends—places where we know His Spirit will speak to us. However, in Psalm 139 we read that the eyes of God will find us no matter how hard we try to disappear. That is His mercy.
When Jonah was at his lowest—sitting in a slushy mess of seaweed and rotting sea creatures—God had not forsaken him. God was just giving Jonah an opportunity to “get back on track.” Jonah said, “When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD” (Jonah 2:7). Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom to realize how much we need the Lord so we will cry out to Him.
The Spirit of God is faithful to tell us when we have taken a wrong turn. And once we realize where we are, it is simple to get back on track. We only have to go back to the place where we took the wrong turn, and God will be right there to show us the right road and help us take it. If we are on that right road already, let us remember to pray for others who are still struggling, like the young man who asked for prayer recently. He is just one of many who are wandering in the dark, but most are not bold enough to ask for prayer. God hears our prayers for those who are “in the belly of a whale,” and He wants to bring them back on track.