Last week whilst I was sat in the service, a thought pop into my head. There is a fairly impressive miracle in this book which isn't really mentioned. Jonah gets swallowed by a huge fish, and survives for three days in a stomach of a whale.
How did he survive the stomach acid or more importantly the lack of oxygen for three days?
In Matthew 12:40, Jesus says:
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
As Jesus clearly believes that Jonah was
Swallowed by a huge fish
Was there for 3 days
Survived the ordeal
I think that we also should believe it, therefore (from my admittedly limited research and knowledge about huge fish) I’ve come to the conclusion that surviving the ordeal was in equally impressive miracle on God’s behalf to providing the fish to swallow Jonah and then vomiting him onto dry land. And therefore, this story can be one of encouragement and hope to us today.
Whilst today in our lives we're not likely to be swallowed by a giant fish, we're are likely to be in places that really pretty tough. Places where we get to rock bottom, and can't see any favourable way out (let's be honest being vomited onto a beach isn't great but is considerably better than the other option), places where we can't see a way of surviving let alone thriving.
If God stepped into to prevent Jonah from dying, he can step into the situations we find ourselves in today and will help us survive. As Christians we should expect life to get tough in places, and therefore when survival seems challenging remember these words of Jesus from John 16:33:
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
We believe in a God who has immense powers, who can control the natural world. But that same God came to this earth and went through suffering greater than we can imagine by dying on a cross. So when we go through suffering we can cry out to a God who understands and goes through our suffering with us, and we can take hope that Jesus has beaten death and will one day return in glory.
Jess Vaughan is a Student Forgee. She graduated from the University of York last summer