In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me

Jonah 2:1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord,

and he answered me.

From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,

and you listened to my cry.

3 You hurled me into the depths,

into the very heart of the seas,

and the currents swirled about me;

all your waves and breakers

swept over me.

4 I said, ‘I have been banished

from your sight;

yet I will look again

toward your holy temple.’

5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]

the deep surrounded me;

seaweed was wrapped around my head.

6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;

the earth beneath barred me in forever.

But you, Lord my God,

brought my life up from the pit.

7 “When my life was ebbing away,

I remembered you, Lord,

and my prayer rose to you,

to your holy temple.

8 “Those who cling to worthless idols

turn away from God’s love for them.

9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise,

will sacrifice to you.

What I have vowed I will make good.

I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”

10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.

Have you ever experienced near-death moment? When you knew for sure you could have died, but then you come out of it on the other side unharmed?

I recently heard about the incident that took place with Indonesian airline. A plane went down and everyone on board lost their lives. It’s tragic. But then, there was one woman. She missed the plane’s boarding time.

She expressed how shocked she was and at the same time grateful.

We read the passage from Jonah. A prophet, called by God, chose to take another path. Then he was thrown into the ocean. The storm grew more and more violent. He had to go.

In the depth of the sea, he offers up a prayer to God. He asks for help and makes promises to commit his life to God. And God does save him.

How many times have we experienced this too in our life? Maybe when the airplane experienced turbulence? Did you not make that small unconscious prayer? Or when something happened to you just by pure grace?

But then, how many times do we forget our prayer and commitment? And when we forget, how easily do we grow bitter, depressed and ungrateful?

Season of Thanksgiving is here with us. Maybe it’s the time for us to look back at all things God has done for us until now.

Even the puff of air we breathe. It’s God’s grace. Without it, we will gag. Every day when we open our eyes in the morning, it’s God’s grace. But above all, Jesus Christ is the greatest gift and grace for us all.

Do we thank God for Jesus? Are we thankful today, no matter what situations we are in because God demonstrates His love for us in this? While we were yet sinners, Christ Jesus died for us.

Let us earnestly ask the Holy Spirit to remind us once again the great grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God in our heart. With it, we can give thanks in all circumstances with joy and gladness.