Jonah 1:4: Bringing Our Own Storms

Jonah 1:4 “Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up.”

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I was in the seventh grade – finally allowed to go to camp with our church youth group. We made the long trekk across Texas and into New Mexico on an old Greyhound bus. And the bathroom on that bus was . . . not working properly.

The smell was atrocious. But I, being the brilliant girl that I was, had some Babe perfume in my purse. I thought surely, if I sprayed some perfume, the sweet smell would cancel out the foul odor.

I was wrong.

Now, instead of just plain old stink, we had nose-stinging, throat-burning stink. My unwise choice affected not only me, but everyone on the bus. The entire group of teenagers, sponsors, bus driver . . . everyone had to pay for my mistake.

Jonah made a bad decision. And more often than not, when we make bad decisions, we aren’t the only ones affected. Just as the violent storm threatened every man on Jonah’s ship, our bad choices bring unwanted consequences to those around us.

When we choose to sin, we invite stress and sadness and hurt into our lives. Those storms affect our families, our friends, even the people with whom we work. In some cases, our actions can affect total strangers.

I don’t know about you, but after reading about Jonah’s storm, I feel a much greater responsibility to obey God. My children don’t deserve to have to weather the storms of my poor choices. My family and friends shouldn’t have to pay for my foolishness.

I’m glad we each have a choice. And from now on, to the best of my ability, I’m going to try to make the choices that will bring positive results to myself and those I love.

I choose to obey God.

Dear Father, Please forgive me for foolishly disobeying you. I know my poor choices affect the people around me. Please help me to make wise choices.


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