Hmmm....He Just Called Me a Whale!

Back when I was a teenager, I remember the saying “don’t have a cow” became so popular. I am not sure what it means exactly because I have never seen a cow act dramatically or fly off the handle about anything. But then again, I haven’t spent a lot of time around cows.
 
We often use animal analogies to describe certain behaviors. If you have a dirty house or a dirty bedroom, one might say “you live in a pigsty” or if you are making a lot of noise and have a lot of energy one might say “you are like a barrell full of monkeys” and if you are sneaky one might say “you are sly like a fox.”
 
So what do you do then when someone tells you that you are going to be “like a whale?” I mean, whales are beautiful, mysterious and intelligent, but what if that is not the analogy that is being drawn when they call you a whale? What then?
 
Break it down into context is what you do!
 
I was minding my own business when God once again initiated a conversation with me. And that’s when I heard it.
 
He wasn’t talking about just any old whale. He was referring to a specific whale – the whale (or great fish) mentioned in the story of Jonah (in the book of Jonah in the Old Testament).

You may know the story of Jonah. God had given him orders to go to Nineveh to warn the people there of God’s impending judgment – complete destruction. But Jonah had other plans. He got on a ship and headed the opposite direction. A storm came and once the men on the ship figured out Jonah was the source of the problem, they threw him overboard into the sea. 
As Jonah struggled in the sea, a whale swallowed him up and saved him from death. Three days later, the fish spit him out and Jonah was once again faced with the choice of whether he would go to Nineveh or not.
Jonah was chosen by God to do something very specific, but it was the whale that was sent to save Jonah in order to give him another opportunity to make the right choice.
 
In that quiet, still small voice God told me I was going to be like THAT whale.
 
A few years ago, God gave me some visions, dreams if you will, where people were in the sea trying to get to a big rock. There were also scenes of chaos – fire, destruction, separation, and flood. At the time, I thought it had to do with the fact that we were thinking about moving to an island and God was telling me that it wasn’t a good idea. However, as my calling unfolds, I see His message much more clearly now.

Sometimes it takes spending a few days in the “belly of a whale” to get us to see that we need to do what God has asked us to do and to see how God is moving in our lives. Many people are at a crossroads and need to decide (again) whether they are going to do what God has told them to do or go their own way. Some are even causing some problems because they initially went their own way and chose not to do what God had called them to do and are putting people at risk.
 
Jonah, of course, was the main player in this story, but let us not forget that the whale had a very significant role. The whale represented the saving grace and mercy of a patient and long-suffering Heavenly Father. God could have extended His own hand to save Jonah from the sea, but He sent His creation instead to save Jonah.
 
He still does that today.

So, I’ll be His whale if that is what He has called me to do. He has said it so I know that God will put people in my path that need to do that which God has called them to do. Whether that is someone taking three minutes to read a blog and hear the word of God, teaching in a Bible study or some other plan that God has already mapped out, it will be an opportunity for me to be used for His glory. I am totally committed to being His vessel so if a whale is what it looks like, then a whale it is!

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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1 Comment


Maria Avila - August 19th, 2013 at 1:23pm

I love this Erin. I've read and heard the story of Jonah and the whale or (great fish) more times than I can remember, but I never saw it in that light. The whale was exactly that, a vessel God used to get a hold of Jonah's heart. I love your prespective on this great bible story!

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