Have you ever hit rock bottom? Have you ever felt too far away to call on God? I sure have. I wish I could say it was only one time and I learned my lesson but so far the counter is still ticking. There are so many time and places that our life paths can get derailed by the enemy. He convinces us that we should step out on our own. We should run our own life.
You may have been taken in by some financial scheme that sounded great and promised to improve your money situation. Maybe you thought that credit card offer or that easy-to-get loan was the answer. It was the quick fix to get you back on your feet. You found out later that it plunged you deeper into debt and there didn’t seem to be any way out. You felt that you had fallen too far away to ask for help.
You may have been taken in by some relationship promises where you found someone who would be so great if only you could help them change. Maybe you thought it was you who needed to change. You may have put all your eggs in one basket only to discover that divorce was looming or a breakup was impending. You tried to convince yourself that if you just kept plugging away, things would be better. You felt lonelier than you ever had before. You felt like the dark was closing around you.
You may have decided to take a job that you thought would be your dream job. You brushed away the red flags that threatened to block the view of the top that you would surely have if you just jumped on this bandwagon. The distance wouldn’t be too far. After all, you could use the quiet time in the car. The pay wasn’t so bad. Surely, they’d give you a raise after they saw how amazing you were. The reputation of the boss didn’t matter. You wouldn’t have to deal with him or her on too many occasions. When the stress and anxiety overwhelmed you, you realized this job had taken you further away from where you wanted to be.
In these instances, there is one thing that should have happened before the decision was made. Prayer. Praying for wisdom and praying for God’s guidance are sure-fire ways to get those feet of yours on a right path. When we listen to the enemy, he convinces us we don’t need to ask for help. Maybe you did ask for guidance and wisdom but then ignored all the signs saying, “Surely this doesn’t apply to me.” We want God to want it our way too.
I am encouraged as I ponder the view from the bottom. You see, I have always known the story of Jonah and the Whale from the Bible but I never knew the story of Jonah. God told Jonah to go somewhere and do something for Him. Jonah flat-out refused and high-tailed it the other direction. Sound familiar? God sent the storm that caused Jonah to be thrown over the side of the boat and sink to the bottom of the Earth. The furthest, physical place from God. But do you know where God was? He was right there with Jonah. Right there in the belly of that fish at the bottom of the ocean. He wanted to give Jonah another chance. He did give Jonah another chance. He wants to give you another chance too. Take it.
Jonah 2:4-6 I said, “I have been banished from your sight; but I will look again toward your holy temple. The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit.”