Read Jonah 1:4-6. Two things conspired to turn the situation around for Jonah. While they appeared worse than ever, both were effective in finally awakening him (1) The call of the Wild (2) The Call of the World. Both wild nature, and scared pagan people, shook God’s prophet from his comatose unconscious stupor.

The Call of the Wild (v.4) – Instead of killing Jonah off at this point, God sent a storm. When things go wrong in our lives we must learn to reason and read the ‘signs’ differently. Even pagan sailors knew that. They knew at bottom this was sin. These effects were God’s wrath against sin, and they feared God greatly. If only we all did the same! Where we see ‘Global Warming’, they read ‘Global Warning’! Britain’s recent troubles – floods, droughts, hurricanes, ‘mad cow’ and ‘foot and mouth’ disease, rail disasters, stock-market crashes, escalating crime, killing sprees in local estates and high schools, 11 and 12-year-old drug addicts, family break ups, teenage pregnancies, are all God’s ‘wake-up’ call. Caroline Schroeder observed, “Some people change their ways when they see the light. Others only when they feel the heat.”

When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change, you will change! How much more does the Church have to suffer before we will change? This is not only God’s ‘wake-up call’ to the unbelieving sailors, it is also God’s wake-up call to the sleeping prophet, and to us the Church. The irony is the sailors heard it long before Jonah did!

The Call of the World (v.6) – Even unbelievers become very religious in storms. From the 1990’s, interest in spiritual things has doubled. Hippies, travellers, yuppies, and business schools looked east to Asian religions. Recall the vast moving scenes of grief and religious worship at the shrine of a dead Princess in 1997. 911’s terrorist disaster stirred massive longings and fears around the globe. The cry for meaning, peace, and purpose is becoming deafening. There’s an as yet, unsatisfied cry for hope everywhere. Research among un-churched young people discovered their longings were for the very things that could be found in the new Testament Church

• The longing to be loved by God
• The search for authentic relationships
• The experience of meaningful community and purpose

Beseech God desperately to help us become more of the answer to these God-given longings that tear apart empty hearts!