I have found that of all the things we use to help us through each day, there is nothing better for us than to have a hearty dose of fish guts. Fish guts are an important part of our daily nourishment. It helps us focus better. It helps give us more determination. Having this resource from fish actually will help us be happier. It will help calm our nerves. People will see a difference in us after we consistently use the innards of a fish. One of the great things about fish guts is that we can have it all day long, anytime we want. And interestingly enough, you will never become too full from it. You can consume it all day long and never say you’ve had enough. It actually leaves you craving more and more. There is nothing like it in the whole world. There is nothing more satisfying or substantial than the guts of a fish.
Now, you may say “No way! I’ll never try fish guts!” But if you don’t, I’d strongly recommend you do. Without fish guts, your life will never be profitable or fulfilling. As a matter of fact, without fish guts, you will die. If you don’t believe me, just ask a friend of mine named Jonah.
At this moment I believe your mind has paused and is now entertaining a different train of thought. You probably see by the name Jonah that the fish guts I made you think of originally are not the fish guts that I was really talking about. The innards I was talking about are meant to be figurative for a much needed spiritual lesson.
Let’s talk about this guy Jonah. As we begin to read the book about Jonah, we first see that God had chosen to use Jonah as a messenger of His command of repentance to the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1:1-2). But Jonah didn’t like that idea too much. He didn’t want to go to teach the people of Nineveh. He could care less about them. So “Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD” (Jonah 1:3). But God wasn’t going to let Jonah just move off somewhere else. God wasn’t going to destroy Jonah. God still wanted to use Jonah and therefore decided to give Jonah some much needed correction and guidance. Jonah 1:4-6 tells us that “the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up.” God was putting Jonah’s wrongful trip on halt. Jonah was going nowhere. He couldn’t run from God. That was stupid to even try. The men were so afraid and they felt as if this was not a “natural” storm. So they wanted to figure out whose sin was causing this punishment. They found out it was Jonah (Jonah 1:7-10).
Jonah knew that this was the doing of God. He knew what he had done wrong. He knew what the consequence would be. Jonah persuaded the men to throw him into the sea and meet his fate (1:11-15). But in 1:17, we come to one of the most important parts of all: “the LORD appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.” God caused Jonah to be swallowed by a big fish. Jonah probably thought he was going to drown and die at sea. But God didn’t let that happen. What God did do was give Jonah time to stop, think about what he had done, and consider what it was that he was suppose to do. He got a second chance to think long and hard about his relationship with God. Did he really want to go against God? Did he really want to disobey? Be selfish? Reject God? Be unloving? Uncaring?
Can we even truly imagine what it must have been like to live in the belly of a fish for 3 days and nights? He had to spend 72 hours in the “guts” of a fish. Dark. Alone. Smelly. Mushy. No food or water (ironic right?). But in that dark and being alone, Jonah had time to think, meditate, and really face reality. He was able to stop what he had been doing. He got to spend time praying to God. He got refocused. He was able to see what was really important. He stirred up a renewed determination. It was this “quiet” time that saved his life. Jonah would never forget those three days he spent in fish guts.
The lesson here is a simple one. 1) We’re going to be busy with everyday matters and get caught up in many activities which can drain us of spiritual thinking and motivation. 2) We can find ourselves living our own way, not listening or caring about what God says about how we should live, and enjoying the sins we commit. For both of these scenarios, the answer is the same. We need fish guts! We need to take that time to stop everything we’re doing. Slow our minds down and do some really good thinking about life, eternity, faith, Heaven and Hell, love, sin, repentance, evangelism, purity, etc. We desperately need those times of meditation to refocus ourselves, repent when needed, keep us motivated to follow Christ, to not be distracted by the world, or to find comfort in God’s grace. Are you having fish guts daily? If not, I hope you will have it very soon and very often!