Praying for a Whale

Seems like an odd prayer, right?

Unless you’re in the middle of a lake in a canoe being battered by wind and waves. Ok, so it’s still an unrealistic prayer. But Jonah was swallowed by a whale and Jesus raised Himself from the dead, so there you are. And in that moment of desperation, a whale swallowing me up to take me to shore a la Jonah didn’t sound like such an unrealistic option.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed I didn’t get my whale. That would just be way too obvious and way too convenient. And God isn’t into giving us what we think we want and need, He knows exactly what we need when we need it.

It has taken me a while to even come close to recovering from truly believing I was going to die in the middle of a Canadian lake. One of my biggest fears is of drowning, so this was an especially terrifying day for me. I know it will take even more time to be okay with those feelings. But here is what I’ve uncovered so far: God heard me. He listened.

He heard me cry for help. And I know He heard me telling Him over and over that I was trusting Him, because trusting Him in that situation was one of the hardest thing I could do. But it was the right thing to do, and so I pursued Him as hard as I possibly could. He knew I was scared but He gave me the physical strength to keep paddling against the wind and waves. He heard me crying but He gave me the ability to keep calm (at least until I made it to camp). He prompted our guides to paddle to us and show us a new way to paddle so we could get to shore and add some weight to the canoe.

He also knew we were going to make it to our campsite physically unscathed. That’s where the trust part came in. My canoe partner and I had no idea what God had planned for us that day. And we were placed in a situation where we were forced to trust Him. No one has any idea what God has planned any day. Trusting in Him through the bad time and the good time is an integral part of the Gospel. It’s also, in my opinion, one of the most difficult things to do.

God tested my trust while I was in that canoe getting whipped around and jostled by waves. I chose to trust, and He got me where I needed to be. He knew I was ready for this test even though I didn’t.

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