Jonah’s Smelly Search For Contentment

The Need: We Need To Realize Who’s In Control

The Story:

Jonah receives a direct call from God (wouldn’t that be amazing)? Go and preach against your enemy in Nineveh. Jonah hears the Lord, packs his bags, and… runs the other way. Jonah refuses to obey God. God responds by providing, “…a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17).

First of all, I know what you’re thinking, Poor Fish! Have you ever eaten something that doesn’t sit well with you, only to vomit it up again three days later? And what did the fish do to warrant this? I imagine the fish took one look at Jonah and thought, “God, you’ve got to be kidding. I’m not swallowing that!”

Second, in Chapter 4, Jonah sat down away from the city of Nineveh to wait to see what would happen. And it’s no wonder. Can you imagine how Jonah smelled? People probably stopped him and said, “Hey, why do you smell like fish?” To which Jonah replied, “Go away, it’s a long story!” Immediately following, I think Jonah went vegetarian.


21st Century American culture tells you that to be content; you need to get out of your current situation and into a better one. Jonah thought that he could control his situation apart from God. Jonah tried, and he was miserable. He hurt others in the process, almost costing them their lives.

Contentment begins with realizing who is actually in control. Accepting this truth will start you on your path to contentment and possibly save yourself from an uncomfortable situation and feeling like a fish out of water! (Yes, I went there).

Contentment Key: True contentment is not found in our circumstances but despite our circumstances.

For more one-on-one help with burnout and contentment click HERE

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