Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 21, 2010

Mercy Runs Deep

Reflections on Jonah 1:17–2:1-7

God uses ordinary people like you and me to show His love and to share His message. On my first visit to India in 1998, I saw a poor woman sitting beside the road in a remote village. As I passed by I noticed that she did not have any feet. I have often thought about that woman through the years. To me, she represents those who do not have access to the message about Jesus. Who will take the gospel to them? Since she is unable to walk, who will walk to villages like hers to share the good news (see Rom. 10:15)? Unless we are willing to heed God’s call to go to the nations, many will never have an opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel. We must not run away from our responsibility to take God’s message to the millions of unreached and unengaged people groups in our world.

Jonah, like the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11-32), realized that running away is both costly and foolish. Jonah had endangered the lives of the sailors on the ship, the lives of the Ninevites waiting to hear God’s message, and his own life. As a result, Jonah found himself in distress (Jonah 2:2), or in a tight spot, inside a great fish. Jonah therefore did what people often do when they find themselves in a tight spot — he prayed to God. Jonah prayed from inside the fish (Jonah 1:1). No place is amiss for prayer. As believers, we have access to God through prayer from any spot on earth.

   Jonah had time to reconsider God’s call while inside the fish. He realized that God, not the sailors, had hurled him into the deep (Jonah 2:3). God was indeed serious about wanting him to deliver His message to the Ninevites. In the dark belly of the fish, Jonah came to grips with his dangerous predicament (Jonah 2:4-5). He turned to God in repentance and discovered that God’s mercy runs deep. God delivered Jonah (Jonah 2:6-7) and returned him to a place of usefulness in His service.

I spoke with a missionary while in Asia who shared with me how he had heard God’s call to join Him on mission when he was a young man. His heart was stirred by the thought of people who had never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus. He knew God wanted him to take His message to such people. However, for many years he avoided taking the steps to serve as a vocational missionary. Finally, he prayerfully heeded God’s call and is now effectively sharing the gospel with unreached people groups throughout Asia. He too discovered that God’s mercy runs deep and that God can still open doors of opportunity for service.

God is indeed doing extraordinary things through ordinary people all over our world. Never before have so many avenues for serving others been available for people like you and me. Like the missionary I met in Asia, perhaps you have heard but not yet responded to God’s call to join Him on mission. Or, perhaps you have overlooked opportunities to share and show God’s love in your own community. It’s not too late to serve Him. Turn to God today and discover that His mercy runs deep and that He can still open doors of opportunity for you to serve Him. Determine to join God on mission and to allow Him to use you in whatever way He chooses.


Responses

  1. Thanks, for the post. we’re keep reading. our 8 years old daughter, she asked me to open this page and she’ll read. we’re trying to learning from these tool box!

    Mortuza
    Bangladesh


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