In my previous post, I talked about how to keep Jonahs (wasters) away from your life, in order to avoid needless pain(s). However, that is only necessary for those who are not having Jonahs in their lives already. What if there’s a Jonah in your ship now; what would you do? Let’s take a look at the passage again and glean some practical things that the sailors did.
“All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own good.”
This is the default response for many people when they are facing a turbulent time in life — “become afraid and cry out to their OWN god.” We could turn to the god of network and connections, the god of money, the god of human wisdom and intellect, the god of qualifications and skills. Sometimes, this may yield result, but if the cause of the problem is a Jonah in your ship, these gods will not be able to help you. It will rather complicate the entire problem, leading to more loss and waste.
As long as you have a Jonah in your ship, investing time, resources and effort to solving the problem will not cut any ice; rather, it will result in greater loss. Just as the Bible recorded that after crying out to their gods, “they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship.”
“But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep.”
Jonahs may not easily be found on the surface. They may look very innocent and least expected. You cannot look at them and just recognize them by their looks. If you could, you wouldn’t sail with them in the first place.
Sometimes, we need to act like the captain and take our attention from crying to our own god and go down to the bottom of the ship in search of the innocent-looking sleeping Jonahs.
Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity. They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah”. Jonah 1:7 NIV.
Now, this is what they should have done from the beginning, perhaps they would have avoided some of the losses incurred. You will need to cast lots to find out who the Jonah in your ship is.
This space may not permit us to look at what casting of a lot is in details. But in our time, it simply refers to relying on the Holy Spirit to identify the Jonah. This is where developing personal intimacy with Him becomes crucial. If we trust Him and are sensitive enough, he will surely reveal the Jonah to us.