The other day my husband and I went to a local bakery for dessert and coffee. I was so excited because they have the best chocolate cake with homemade ganache. It’s so dreamy! Picture marble cake with ganache filling, chocolate icing coated in chopped walnuts, served chilled. I love cold cake! I may or may not have hustled to get to the counter before the older man walking in at the same time as us and I may or may not have won. I don’t know. Maybe. What happened next was tragic. I looked and looked for my favorite cake and couldn’t find it. They were out for night and I was out of luck. So, I had two choices: 1) deviate from what my tastebuds were prepared for and go with pie….ummm no….or 2) settle for the next closest thing, a homemade ding dong.
So, I sat down with my ding dong and began to eat it in disappointment. The tragedy continued because I found a hair in the middle of it. No!!! Seriously??? Ewww!!!
My husband, being the punny guy he is, looked at me and said, “I dare you to walk up to the counter and tell the guy standing behind it that you found a hair in your ding dong…and keep a straight face.” Y’all. My husband. He kept pressuring me until I told him, in my best Heather Land impersonation, “Uh-uh! I ain’t doin it!”
What on earth? No, crazy! You want me to say what? I opted to just forget about chocolate that night. It clearly wasn’t meant to be.
In the book of Jonah, God instructs him to walk up to random people he doesn’t know, in a large town called Nineveh, and announce that God was getting ready to pour out judgment on them because they were wicked. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather tell a stranger I found a hair in my ding dong. Jonah apparently felt the same way because he told God no, bought a ticket and got on a boat to sail as far away as possible. Can’t say I wouldn’t do the same. You want me to do what, Lord? How stressful! I need to go on a cruise to think about it…
Jonah 1:4 "But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart."
So, this huge storm comes. And by huge, I mean that this ship is about to be decimated while these poor, unsuspecting people on it are now paying a price for his disobedience. They are experiencing high winds, being shaken to the core, fear, anxiety, lack of peace, feeling overwhelmed and like nothing is in their control.
Do you ever feel that way? Do you feel that way now? Maybe you’re in one of life’s storms and can’t figure out how to make it stop. If that’s you, read these next verses very carefully:
Jonah 1:15-16 "Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him."
They found the source of the storm and threw it overboard. How often do we do that? We tend to ride out the storm until the next one starts brewing, but what if we could calm it by identifying what is in our lives that shouldn’t be? Think about that. There might be something we need to throw overboard so we can return to smooth sailing.
- Maybe there’s someone on your ship that isn’t supposed to be there, someone that inserted themselves into your journey.
- Maybe you have something on your schedule that needs to be tossed. Overly busy means overwhelmed.
- Maybe there’s somewhere else to store that really heavy cargo you’ve been carting around, like the bottom of the sea. This storm is signaling it’s time to get rid of it.
Whatever the case may be, if your peace is on the line, it’s time to reel it back in.
What happened when Jonah was thrown overboard? He was swallowed by a whale. Another way to say that is, God rescued him and got him on the right path. If the men on that ship hadn’t calmed their crazy by throwing him overboard, they would have all paid the price. And that’s what happens when we don’t lighten our load- everyone pays the price. Girl, you need to calm your crazy if you’re feeling the storm! This is your permission slip to throw some stuff overboard today so you can have your peace back.