They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. —Jonah 2:8
After three miserable days and nights—days and nights he brought upon himself—Jonah hit dry ground and sought the Lord. And then he declared what he had learned in the belly of the whale: "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."
What were the lying vanities Jonah had observed? First, he believed that he could run from the call of God. Secondly, he believed he could find a place where God wasn't and actually hide from God's presence. And lastly, he believed that his way was better than God's way.
Those who observe lying vanities end up in miserable straits. Don't do that.
God is extremely merciful and extremely wise. His ways are always best, and He desires nothing but good for your life. "I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). There is nothing better for you than to find the will of God and to do it. You can't improve on that; that's life at its highest. It's the place of satisfaction and contentment, and you'll never be fully content or satisfied with anything less.
Don't create problems for yourself. Instead, submit to the One who loves you. You can arrive voluntarily, or you can arrive smelling like a fish—but you're going to go where God wants you to go.
Father, we thank You for contentment that comes from yielding ourselves to Your will for our lives, and thus finding that joy, peace, and satisfaction of knowing You're in control.
In Jesus' name, amen.