"But the Lord hurled a powerful wind on the sea. Such a violent tempest arose on the sea that the ship threatened to break up! The sailors were so afraid that each cried out to his own god and they flung the ship's cargo overboard to make the ship lighter. Jonah, meanwhile, had gone down into the hold below deck, had lain down, and was sound asleep. The ship's captain approached him and said, "What are you doing asleep? Get up! Cry out to your god! Perhaps your god might take notice of us so that we might not die!" The sailors said to one another, "Come on, let's cast lots to find out whose fault it is that this disaster has overtaken us." So they cast lots, and Jonah was singled out." Jonah 1:4-7
I've always wondered how Jonah could possibly sleep thru a storm of this magnitude. The winds are howling and the boat is being tossed wildly to and fro. The sailors are scared, tossing the ship's cargo overboard and calling out to their gods to save them.
Yet, thru it all, Jonah continues to sleep. Maybe because the storm was nothing in comparison to the battle Jonah was fighting within? Perhaps sleep was Jonah's way of "turning off" the storm raging inside him as he tried to run as far from God as he could?
We'll never know for sure why Jonah was able to sleep, but it does serve as an analogy of how many Christians carelessly sleep each day. Here's a few examples I found while reading more on this scripture at Enduring Word:
· Jonah slept where he hoped he would not be found -- the sleeping Christian tries to hide at church
· Jonah slept in a place where he couldn't help with the work to be done -- the sleeping Christian will stay away from the work of God
· Jonah slept during a prayer meeting up on the deck -- sleeping Christians don't like attending prayer meetings.
· Jonah slept with no idea of the problems around him -- sleeping Christians don’t know what is going on
· Jonah slept when he was in great danger -- sleeping Christians are in danger and don't even know it
· Jonah slept while the heathen needed him -- sleeping Christians sleep on while the world needs their message and testimony
I read thru these and find myself really trying to see if I fall into any of these areas. I know I'm not as open and aware to the world around me. I want to be... I really do. It will be something to pray about in the days ahead.
Let's not be a sleeping Christian in a world that needs our Lord so very much! Let's pray and seek God and allow Him to "wake us up" and lead us where we can share His undying love, His grace, His mercy, and His hope to the world we live in today.