There was a guy named Jonah who was having a hard time and it was about to get harder. God had told him to go to the city of NIneveh and spread the news that God loves them. Sounds good enough and easy enough, but Jonah knew that the city of Nineveh was mostly populated with haters and bullies.
So he simply didn’t want to do it and boarded a boat heading in the opposite direction. Well, God whipped up a mighty storm that threatened to sink the boat. The other passengers were getting seasick and trying to figure out what to do. Jonah realized his actions had caused the storm, so he told them to just throw him overboard.
Crazy plan, but it worked. Kinda. There is always the issue of now sinking in the ocean.
God had that one figured out and sent a big fish that swallowed Jonah up and kept him safe inside. Well, if you consider being covered in fish guts and whale innards a safe place.
Jonah entombed in the fish guts prayed earnestly for three days and then finally got vomited out on the shore headed to Nineveh.
Jonah, smelling of fish guts, now submitted and began his journey to Nineveh where he could likely be killed, but he was going to make the journey in faith.
Many times in our lives with depression or just being in a bad place, we try to run from it. It’s too much to deal with and if we can just get far enough, things will get better. It’s not likely that you will get sucked inside a whale to have time to think and reflect, but it’s just not a good idea to run from what seems bad.
Then after we make it out of the hard place (the deep part of depression and out of the whale belly) and we have a moment of true hope. It’s a almost an euphoric feeling of things being alright and good.
But just like Jonah, we still have a walk to take. A journey that might not always be easy and I’m sure moments of fear are in there of feeling like your moving to a place of doom.
Depression is a funny thing in the fact that sometimes it ebbs and flows. One day you are on top of the world and the next you are sitting in fish innards. Take the good days and know there will be bad days. Have a plan of coping with the dark times.
In the belly of the whale, Jonah repented and cried out to God in prayer. He praised God, ending with the eerily prophetic statement, “Salvation comes from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9, NIV)
But most of all, just keep walking in faith that you are being led to your purpose on this Earth and even if you struggle with mental health or just plain stubbornness (like Jonah) there is a plan for you that is good and not meant to destroy you.