"Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,
And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice."
Jonah is cool. I can relate to him. :) The Lord asks him to go tell the people in Nineveh that they are going to be destroyed if they don't shape up, and he doesn't want to... so he goes for a boat ride instead. Then God makes a whale swallow him. I don't know if the whale was very happy about it either, actually... but it definitely gave Jonah some time to think. What is amazing to me is that, even though God punished him, and a lot of people would be too angry to pray... Jonah is humble enough to realize where his deliverance comes from. He realized that he made a mistake, and that he needed to do what God asked. It wasn't the way he really wanted his life to go, and it was a hard thing for him to do, but he is determined to follow the Lord, even after their little disagreement. :) And, he prays to the Lord... still in the belly of the whale... and the Lord hears him, and delivers him safe back to his life.
I think this type of thing happens to all of us. God asks us to preach to Nineveh, and we're reluctant. Nineveh is wicked, what good is preaching to her going to do... la la la. For whatever reason, when God asks us to do something we studiously ignore it because we had other ideas. So, then, we get swallowed by a whale... which, even symbolically, can be pretty overwhelming. But, in the end, it puts things back in perspective. After you've been inside a whale, the rest of life seems pretty good. :) And the coolest thing is, Nineveh repented. Jonah thought it was pointless and it wasn't... he saved hundreds of lives. God's ways are incomprehensible to us sometimes, but things always, always work out better when we listen, and do things God's way.