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Editor's journey

From the belly of despair

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. –– At one time or another, everyone feels like Jonah. Perhaps you’ve suffered the consequences of a poor decision or, through no fault of your own, you’ve found yourself in a painful place.

Regardless of the cause of your difficulty, you’ve asked the Lord what you can do to move beyond a season of pain to a refuge of gain.

Much can be learned from the steps taken by Jonah in his darkest hour, from the belly of the whale.

He prayed, “In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. … The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. … But you brought my life up from the pit. … When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord” (Jonah 2:2,5-9, NIV).

Jonah took four steps:

1. He cried to God for help.

2. He acknowledged his mistake.

3. He sang a song of thanksgiving.

4. He made a vow of obedience.

God had an important task for Jonah to complete in the city of Nineveh, so He delivered him to dry land.

God also has a work for you to do. And what you are facing now may be a season of preparation for the assignment at hand. Call out to the Lord today and invite Him to complete the work in you so you can accomplish the task He has for you.

Hal Donaldson

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