The most interesting thing about Jonah 2 is that the prophet gives thanks to God for his deliverance while he is still inside the fish! He praises God for his rescue even before he is on dry land!

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me!” ~Jonah 2:2

Jonah doesn’t even mention the small matter of his residency in the fish. Instead he demonstrates a complete trust in the mercy and compassion of God. He is grateful to be in the Lord’s keeping, even if it’s in the belly of a whale.

“You brought my life up from the pit, O Lord my God!” ~Jonah 2:6

Jonah gives thanks in spite of the uncertainty of still being in the sea. He gives praise knowing he did not deserve to be rescued. He’s grateful for safety in a most unlikely place. He’s thankful even in great discomfort. Jonah recognizes God’s salvation in spite of his unresolved questions and issues.

“Salvation comes from the Lord!” ~Jonah 2:9

I think we’re all living inside the belly of the fish. We have been rescued from drowning; we’ve been delivered from the bottom of the sea. But we’re still unsure as to how exactly we’re going to be ultimately saved. Jonah praises God, knowing full well that there are only two possibilities for escaping the fish alive — both of them extremely gross! His situation is not even close to being resolved. He knows he’s going to be OK because he’s in God’s gracious hands. He just doesn’t know yet how much it’s going to hurt.

It’s a belly of great expectation. And we’re all there. I’m going to come out of this OK; I’m just not sure how or when. Even in the darkness and stink of my present circumstance, I rejoice and praise the Lord that he has saved me and he will continue to deliver me all the way through to the end.