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Iowa City Church Podcast

Welcome to the Iowa City Church sermon and teaching page.  We know that life can be confusing, and sometime just plain hard.  We believe the best way to live life comes through following Jesus.  These lessons and sermons are designed to be a resource to help you on that journey.  We hope you find them helpful!

Oct 18, 2021

On June 11, 2021, veteran lobster diver Michael Packard found himself completely inside a humpback whale.  Here's a few excerpts from the Cape Cod Times story:

"In something truly biblical, Packard was swallowed whole by a humpback whale.

“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” Packard recalled Friday afternoon following his release from Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

Initially, Packard thought he was inside a great white shark, but he couldn’t feel any teeth and he hadn’t suffered any obvious wounds. It quickly dawned on him that he had been swallowed by a whale.

 “I was completely inside; it was completely black,” Packard said. “I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done, I’m dead.’ All I could think of was my boys — they’re 12 and 15 years old.”

What an amazing story!  The one line we all can relate to was the last quote from Michael Packard, "All I could think of was my boys."
Here's an important takeaway for all of us when it comes to the struggles of life: In our darkest, most difficult moments, our focus quickly shifts to what is most valuable in life.  

For Jonah to awaken to what was most valuable in life, God sent a giant fish to swallow him!  For many this would be labeled a tragedy, or vengeance, or punishment.  In Jonah's case, this great fish is an act of mercy.  God could have let Jonah sink to the bottom of the sea and perish.  However, God, who is rich in mercy, commands a fish to consume Jonah.  How is that mercy?  Here's a definition of mercy: compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.

God showed compassion by sending a fish.  Sometimes, our darkest valleys, or most difficult struggles is God's way of showing mercy.  Do you want to learn more?  Give a listen to part three of Jonah ~ The Story of You.