v. 17 "But the Lord provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights."
The bible says that a great fish swallowed Jonah, many people assume that it was a whale. I'm not sure what type of fish it was, I just know that it must have been massive for a man to fit inside. If we were in this situation we might think that this is a punishment for disobeying, in a way it was. It also was a caring Father correcting a child and literally changing the direction for this child to keep on course. Jonah was ready to give up, to be swallowed by the sea. God did not change the plans He had for Jonah. God is not surprised by what you do, He will not change His plans for us just because we decide to give up or to do something crazy and foolish. Although if we don't do what He asks and continue to avoid Him, He can easily find another person to do His will and we will be the sorry ones because we will have missed out on the blessings that come with obeying.
We often get ourselves into trouble, then when God gives us a way out we complain about what He has given us and we don't even thank Him for helping us in the first place. This story has been taught to many people around the world, but I think the huge meaning gets lost in the sea and everyone focuses on the big fish. God can do so many great things, we need to pay attention to what He has done for us or we will stop being humble and start to be proud. The way out of a self inflicted situation may seem worse than the situation it self, but if we let God lead us out He can show us that there is light coming out of the darkness.
I think this story is one of the most difficult to believe in the bible, for some highly educated people. When we come to God with the faith of a child, we are to believe and not question, we are to have faith and not doubt and we are to hope in the God who can do anything.