Jonah 1:4-6 Then the LORD sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. The captain went to him and said, "How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us, and we will not perish."
Well, we went a total of 49 hours without power during Tropical Storm Fay. Thursday evening from 11:00 p.m. until Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Then again from Saturday at 6:00 p.m. to Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. Because sometimes it's not the storm, it's the aftermath, the damage caused by the storm. This is what was going on with Jonah - a terrible storm. Those aboard were worried about the damage the storm would cause to their ship.
Each man on board all prayed to their own god (waste of time) and then began throwing out cargo to lighten the ship. How often do we do that today? Instead of going to the ultimate power source, we try to get rid of those things around us that we 'think' might be the problem in the midst of the struggle.
Where was Jonah? Sleeping - just like a man when there's stress. The captain found him and said "call on your god". Wow. Talk about a witnessing opportunity - all these men have been crying out to what they have believed to be the one true god, and then in the midst of the storm - abandon their beliefs and ask Jonah who his god is - and could He help.
The sad thing is this: when we're running from God, when we're in the midst of sin, it's hard to be an effective witness for Christ. So, not only are we shorting ourselves by hindering our relationship with God, we are missing opportunities to share Him with other people. How many people will we pass up because we are too caught up in our own sin that we can't be effective for the Kingdom? Thank God He is so quick to forgive and take us back and use us in spite of ourselves.