Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Jonah and the Whale

I don't believe I've ever shared why I named Jonah after the Prophet from the well-loved Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. Here goes:

So Jonah was a prophet of God. God gave him a very difficult assignment to visit the people of Ninevah and preach repentance to them. This wasn't something he was super excited about. In fact, he tried to run away and hide. He got on a boat, a great storm arose, the people threw him overboard at his suggestion (he would rather DIE than go to Ninevah!) and he was swallowed by a whale where he remained for three days-where I am certain he had some sore repentance and some super-strengthening sessions with the Lord. When he was ready, the whale spit him out on land. The Lord didn't change his task: He still had to march to Ninevah and preach repentance. But he did it. The people listened, repented were spared from the wrath of God.

Jonah and the whale teaches us lots of good things. Perhaps my favorite lesson is that with the Lord's help, we can successfully do the unthinkable.

When we found out at our 20-week ultrasound that our baby would be sick, I won't lie, I was extremely disappointed, overwhelmed, and mortified. I did not want my baby to be sick. In fact, all I wanted to do was climb in bed and pull the covers up over my head and hide forever-or at least 3 days-where I could wallow undisturbed. I whined and cried to Heavenly Father about how I didn't want my baby to be sick and how tired I was of death. I am not a fan of death.

In the middle of all my whining I realized it just wouldn't do. Wallowing shortly loses its appeal. I dried my tears and I repented. I asked for the strength I needed to care for my other kids and my new baby and that I'd find the joy and see the miracles. Well, Heavenly Father heard my prayer. He did not change my task: My baby would still be sick and die. But He changed me.

When it came time to name our baby, Jonah just felt right. Holding Jonah, I sometimes wondered if he had any of those similar feelings of disappointment before he came to Earth at what his body would be and the short time he would be allotted. I don't know that, but I do know he accepted his call. Agency is God's gift to His children and I don't imagine Jonah being forced into this body. I see him rejoicing at the opportunity to come to Earth and receive his body and be with his family.

Jonah Dare teaches us lots of good things. Perhaps my favorite is that with the Lord's help, we can successfully do the unthinkable.