One day, God spoke to Jonah about visiting a city called Nineveh, which was home to 40,000 people who had not yet heard God’s message. Jonah didn’t like the Ninevites—at all. The Ninevites were mean and violent so of course Jonah was afraid of them. Jonah knew God would save them anyway, but Jonah wanted no part in helping them.
Instead, Jonah boarded a ship in his attempt to escape God and sail away from Nineveh. Jonah must have forgotten there was nowhere to run or hide from God. The wind began to blow strongly, and the ship was on the verge of sinking! The crew realized God was angry with Jonah, so Jonah told them to throw him overboard. Immediately, the wind stopped, and the ship and its crew were safe.
Then, God sent a huge fish to swallow Jonah up and spit him out onto the shores of Nineveh three days later. God brought Jonah out of the belly of death and gave him a new life with a purpose to glorify Him. On the shores of Nineveh, Jonah was given a second chance to do what God asked him to do in the first place, and this time Jonah listened. Nothing is too hard for God!
Jonah went on to deliver God’s message to the people of Nineveh. He preached throughout the entire city for three days and warned the people, “Repent, or in forty days God’s judgment will come upon you.” The king of Nineveh heard Jonah and believed his warning. He declared a proclamation for the entire city to fast and wear sack cloths as a sign of repentance, so the Lord would spare them. And the Lord did.
We can’t run from God, and sometimes people need a second (or third!) chance. Like Jonah, God will protect you too. He is our refuge, strength, and fortress. Through Christ and His love, we can come to Him when we are ready. He’s waiting for you!