Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17)
There is a perspective about God that once you make a mistake, He writes you off for good. From my perspective, this is one of the most incorrect views about God that floats around because nothing could be further from the truth. The story of Jonah teaches us that God doesn’t give up on us when we disobey Him, though we may have to suffer the consequences of our actions.
An angry, vindictive God would have allowed Jonah to perish at sea. In His grace, however, God provided a large fish for Jonah so that he would live. Why? I believe it’s because God was seeking to mold Jonah’s character and to teach Jonah about Himself. God wanted the people of Nineveh to turn their hearts to Him – something that He desires for all people. God’s ultimate desire for us isn’t that we spend eternity away from Him but that we experience His lovingkindness, forgiveness, and unmerited grace.
And so God gave Jonah a fish; He wanted Jonah to have a second chance. The fish allowed Jonah to deliver the original message to the people of Nineveh and to understand God’s perspective on humanity. God could have allowed Jonah to die in the water, but He loved Jonah too much to do that.
When God provides for you, remember that He loves you. He gives second chances when you turn away from Him; he doesn’t just give up on you and cast you off. He wants what’s best for you, which from His perspective, is surrendering your life to His will.
Lord, thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for loving me so much that You continue pursuing me even after I walk away from You. Give me humility to turn back to You, and help me to recognize the gracious provisions that You so generously lavish upon me – even when I fail. Thank You for Your lovingkindness and grace.