Surrender (Jonah’s Whale) by Michelle L Hofer – 8” x 10”, mixed media on paper, 2020
Jonah (shouting back): God is using the sea to punish me, so pick me up and throw me into the sea! Then the sea will grow calm again, and you’ll be safe! This is all my fault! This great storm of my God’s anger has built against you because of me!
The sailors fear what will happen to them if they kill one of God’s people.
The sailors ignored Jonah’s advice and tried to row back to land. They made no headway because the violence of the storm kept growing.
Sailors (to God): Eternal One! Please, we beg You —do not kill us as if we had murdered this man. And don’t punish us as if we’d killed an innocent person. We understand that You, Eternal One, do as You please.
At that, they grabbed Jonah by his arms and legs and threw him overboard. And when they did, the raging sea grew calm. The sailors were even more terrified of the Eternal One. They offered sacrifices to Him and made promises to Him.
The Eternal didn’t let Jonah die. He chose a large fish to swallow Jonah; for three days and three nights the prophet Jonah sat safely inside the belly of this fish. — Jonah 1:12-17
Surrender is not one of my favorite practices. To surrender means I have to give up my power, my sense of control. It means I have to cease my resistance and stop pushing against what I do not like or do not want. I am stubborn most of the time. I do not let go easily even if I know it would be better for me if I did. Jonah stands to remind me that while giving in is never easy and could even be immensely scary, being willing to trust and let go is the way forward. At times, it may be the only way forward.
The waters swallowed me; the deep abyss was covering over me.
Seaweeds were wrapped around my head, trapping me as I sank down to where the mountains are rooted to the earth.
I went down to the place where death’s gate would lock me in forever.
Yet You lifted me up from the pit. Eternal One, You are my God! — Jonah 2:5-6
Down an Ancient Path
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