(April 20, 2020)

 Jonah 2:9a                     “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you.”

Read: Jonah 2

Yesterday, as I was finishing this week of study leave, my family and I were watching one of the Sunday School classes videos. The lesson was on Jonah, when Jonah was in the belly of the fish. And it occurred to us: this is where we are now. We are right there with Jonah: Stuck. Unable to move around like we would like. We are in the belly of the fish.

Do you know what was the first thing Jonah did when he was in the fish’s belly? My first thought was that he prayed, but this isn’t quite right. The first thing that Jonah did was that he said, “Thank you.” Jonah thanked God. He “officially” thanked Him; Jonah prayed a Psalm of Thanksgiving.

What do you think? Does this seem …natural? To give thanks, while seaweed is wrapped around your head? (Jonah 2:5) Jonah feels his life ebbing away, and then says, “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 2:9).

So today, especially as we are “stuck” and unable to move around like we are accustomed to, let us identify with Jonah. The circumstances in which we are in may be beyond our control, but we can give thanks. Thanksgiving does not come naturally to us; the human default is to think negatively. It takes intentionality to do otherwise. That is why is it called a sacrifice.

“A song of thanksgiving I will sacrifice to you.”

To give thanks, as Jonah shows us, leads us to embrace what God has in store for us. Sometimes we need to be stuck for awhile to realize the truth: whatever our circumstances, what could we honestly do that is better than giving thanks?