I have been around long enough to know that God does meet all my needs, but how He does it can be way different than what I want or even like.
William Gurnall said, "Like Jonah's whale; God sent it to ferry him to shore - underwater, with the prophet in its belly.
"Even the thing we think has come to destroy us may be the very messenger God has dispatched to bring us to dry land."
Many times in this life we can be misguided in our search for solutions as we flounder, like Jonah, in deep water of trials.
If we are drowning in money woes, more money may not be the solution any more than a man desiring a new wife because he doesn't like the one he has already.
Sometimes, God sends a whale.
I remember the time when I met one of my whales, a cantankerous organic chemistry professor who was about a foot shorter than me.
When I handed in a somewhat sloppy lab assignment, he gave it back to me with a large red zero. I told him, "Hey, I should get at least half marks for getting it half right."
He looked at me across the top of his spectacles and said, "Son, your future boss is not going to give you half-marks. You will need to be correct and complete in your assignments and duties."
And so, on that day, I left the land of half-marks and participant badges and with sweat and tears, I heeded the professors' advice to improve my work to his standards.
God had sent me my whale and it was exactly what I needed before graduation and plunging into a career in the food industry.
I have since had plenty of other whales.
Now some of life's trials are inexplicable and we won't understand them till we see our Lord Jesus face to face.
Other trials are mistakenly blamed on Satan, like the laughable church lady on Saturday Night Live.
(Yet the Bible instructs us that the devil is alive and well, but I think we easily attribute too much to his doing.)
And some trials, maybe even the one you are going through right now, just might be God's messenger sent to bring you out of the depths and onto dry land.
Maybe it's your whale.
? Dave Schapansky is a pastor at Abbotsford Christian Assembly. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.