READ : Jonah 1:13-16
At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice . . . and made vows to him. (v. 16 NIV)
I remember my grandmother remarking a long time ago that “God can use a crooked stick.” She was referring to a leader in the church who, despite his divisiveness and arrogance, won many people to the Lord. I was struck by that comment then, and have found it to be true time and again.
The prophet Jonah is pretty much a crooked stick. He was not exactly what you would call a great person of faith. He had not listened to God’s command to him; in fact, he tried to run away from God. But when confronted by the sailors, he reluctantly tells them who he is and whom he worships. And miraculously it makes an impression. Our text today says that the sailors prayed to the Lord. And after the sea became calm, they “feared the Lord, offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him” (v. 16).
None of us is on our best behavior at all times. Sometimes we are terrible witnesses for Christ. Yet God can use us. We should always do our best to point people to the Savior, but sometimes God pleasantly surprises us by using our slip-ups as well.
Thank you, God, for using crooked sticks to do your work. Amen.