A ‘Seaweed Wrapped Around My Head’ Kind of a Day
“The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head.” Jonah 2:5
Alright, this image just makes me laugh. As if being hurled into the heart of the sea and engulfed by deep waters wasn’t enough the slimy, sunken prophet then finds his head tangled in seaweed. Nothing to indicate that Jonah was looking for some sort of Old Testament spa treatment, either. In the following verse we’re given his humble response to the seaweed thing.
“But you brought my life up from the pit, O Lord, my God.” (vs 6)
It appears the situation captured the rebel prophet’s attention. Quite honestly, it’s a far cry from what mine would have been.
Here’s me: “C’mon now, seriously? Isn’t the ‘big fishy-swallow-little-human’ trick enough without the added humiliation of a Biblical seaweed wrap? And don’t tell me. There’s no more Blue Bell ice cream left in the freezer, right? ‘Cause I sure could drown my sorrows in it right about now.”
Can you relate? When you’re convinced that the comical children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (author, Judith Viorst) was written with you in mind? When everything that could go wrong does go wrong? And then there’s always one thing more…over the course of just one day. Or three days. An entire season of life.
Maybe your difficulty feels apocolyptic, nearly engulfing you: financial crisis, the death of someone close to you, a devastating medical report. Maybe that ‘death’ is in the form of a broken relationship after many years of investment, one that no physician can cure. Maybe you’re dealing with nothing more than a stubbed big toe after a fresh paint job on prom night. Or how about – hypothetically speaking, of course – you’re staring in disbelief at an empty carton of Dutch Chocolate Blue Bell ice cream just when you were craving a dish (Allow me to be shallow here for a sec, but who in my family, after all these years, still thinks that eating the last of this Felkins’ family favorite won’t arouse my fury? Mutiny!).
Since I lack (as in, do not have any) the superpower of omniscience I may not know what God is doing while seaweed is wrapped around my head. But I do know He’s doing it, whatever it is:
~ Actively transforming a lasting, inner beauty (cheaper and safer than botox)
~ Bringing to completion the work He started
~ Crafting me into His image
From where I stand in front of the mirror I’ve got a ways to go.
In His mercy God commands the fish to cough Jonah back out onto the safety of dry ground. From the ocean depths to solid ground, free from turbulent waters and entangling plant life. I love that God knows exactly when enough is enough.
And I wonder, who sold me the lie that the process of transformation was going to be easy? It’s when Jonah’s life was ebbing away he proclaims,
“I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you.” (vs. 7)
I, too, am best shaped into His image when things are hard. If a seaweed wrap is what I need well, then…
Blessings are found in full measure along the way. Good idea to catch them in my net while swirling through turbulent waters the next time I experience another ‘seaweed wrapped around my head’ kind of a day. In the mean time, I see that Blue Bell is on sale at Walgreen’s.