Read Jonah 2.
In 1972, NASA launched the exploratory space probe Pioneer 10. Its primary mission was to reach Jupiter, photograph the planet and its moons, and then beam data to earth about Jupiter’s magnetic field, radiation belts, and atmosphere. At the time, no man-made satellite had ever gone past Mars. But in November, 1973, Pioneer 10 reached its goal and did everything it was supposed to do. Then something extraordinary happened. It kept going. Past Saturn, beaming back information. Past Uranus, beaming back information. Followed by Neptune then Pluto, all the while beaming back information – info we never knew before. By 2003, 32 years after its launch, Pioneer 10 was more than 7 billion miles from the sun. After a long, long run, it finally ran out of power.
Pioneer 10 beamed all that information using an 8-watt transmitter radio with what was supposed to be a three-year life-span. I know many of you think you don’t have much to offer the Lord in service. The truth is God can generate an incredible amount through someone with “8-watt” abilities.
But how much can God accomplish through someone who doesn’t care?
Yes, almighty God can do the impossible. If He could make a coward like Jonah go to Nineveh, then he can do anything He chooses to do. But what a sad thing it is when God’s people don’t care.
Yet, sometimes we don’t! We’re lazy, prone to distraction, wayward and obstinate. Even when we know what we’re doing isn’t the best choice, sometimes we do it anyway, and we get snarky if anyone calls us on it. We are tired a lot of the time, too, and that makes vegging in front of the TV seem more appealing than taking action and getting something—anything—done. Apathy like this is always threatening to dull our desire to serve the Lord.
Well, God provided a giant fish for Jonah. It swallowed him up and forced him to care! It gave him three days to refocus and get his act together. It gave him three days to pray.
I hope God doesn’t need to provide something as terrible as a giant fish to keep us motivated.
But sometimes we are going to struggle through spiritually dry seasons. In the midst of them, I encourage you to keep on making time each day for prayer and devotions—even on the days you don’t feel like it. Make church and Bible study a part of your weekly routine—even when you don’t feel like it. These “holy habits” or “righteous rhythms” are sometimes all that will keep us in the Word in the midst of the spiritually dry spells.
The Bible promises that God’s Word won’t ever return void. The Word always accomplishes what God desires (Isaiah 55). So that means He is at work even when we “don’t care.” And then one day… we’ll read a bible verse, or hear a sermon, or pastor will make some remark in Bible study and WHAM! The juices will start flowing again and the excitement will build and our joy in the Lord will return.
Just don’t give up the Word!
We are fickle creatures, all the way around. Thank goodness faith is a gift God works in us. Thank goodness He doesn’t ever forget us even when we forget him.
Lord Jesus, You are the author and perfecter of my faith. Thank You, Jesus for that! My faith would be a feeble thing without Your aid, like some trinket shoved aside on a dresser, dusty and forgotten. If faith were solely my charge and it was my responsibility to cling to You, the waves of apathy and slothfulness that toss me about would have overcome me long ago. But You, O Lord, cling to me! You say, “no one can snatch them out of my hand” in loving reference to sinners like me (John 10:27-28). Forgive me Lord for not always hearing Your voice and not always following Your lead. Forgive me when I just don’t care about important things. When I am weak, be my strength. Help me to remain in Your Word. You are the blessed Vine and I am a weak, pathetic branch that cannot survive apart from You (John 15). Give me strength to fight the good fight of faith and overcome the temptations of this world, the attacks of the devil and the desires of this sinful flesh (Galatians 6). Give me excitement today to serve You with readiness whatever opportunities You bring me to glorify Your name. Amen.