Rock bottom is a common term we’ve all used to describe a stage in life that we all hope to avoid. It’s a place where everything seems wrong, nothing is going your way, and it feels like things just couldn’t get any worse. Maybe you’ve been before, or maybe you are there now. Your rock bottom may have you asking “God, why are you doing this to me?” The answer to that question might be more straightforward than you think. God may have lead you to that place to show you something that you need to see.
God doesn’t take pleasure in our suffering, but He knows that some of us have to hit rock bottom to do better. When we find ourselves at the bottom, our inclination is to look back in our lives and consider what happened that took us to this low place. It is in those moments that God can show us where we went wrong, and help us course correct. We learn so much more from our mistakes when we accept them and understand why we made them. When we address and correct those errors we stop sinking and reposition ourselves to live life in the flow of God’s blessing.
In the book of Jonah, we see a man who is running from God’s clear direction in his life. Jonah didn’t want to go to a place he didn’t like, to minister to people he didn’t like because he cared more about his reputation than God’s plan. So, he jumped on the first ship going in the opposite direction. Before he knew it, Jonah found himself in a fierce storm that threw him overboard, and landed him in the belly of a fish. Jonah had almost literally hit his rock bottom, and he knew that it wasn’t simply bad luck; God was trying to get his attention. It was in that lowest place that Jonah was able to own up to his mistakes, and take the steps necessary to correct them. Only when he humbled himself was God willing to release Jonah from the whale, and use him as a prophet, leading the entire city of Nineveh to repentance!
When things in our lives are looking particularly stormy, it’s probably time to listen for what God is trying to tell us. No matter what you do, you can’t make God forget what He’s instructed you to do! Whether it’s a task that you’re neglecting, some sin in your life that you’re ignoring, or any other kind of what you know God has said, your storm will keep raging until you surrender. Rock bottom is never a fun place to be, but God will always be there, ready to pull you to the surface once we are willing to follow Him once again.
Dr. Derek Grier
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