"... go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch;
open its mouth and you will find a four drachma coin."
Jesus of Nazareth
Fishing.........Provision..........Money in a big mouth?
Here's the story: Peter gets approached by the tax man. He says, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?" Peter answers, "Yes." (No indication he knows this for sure or that he's ever really thought about it, but, of course, he answers quickly!) He walks into the house, and Jesus leads him to the conclusion that, as the Son of God, He is exempt from the tax. But, Jesus says to avoid offending they will pay. But here's the cool part: Jesus says go fishing, find the money in the first fish's mouth, and pay our taxes!
Can you believe our Lord and Savior?! The tax man is literally looking for him! This was a real bill, and they had no real money! So, what does Jesus do? He sends him fishing.
Fishing....Fishing when there is reason to worry....Fishing when somebody ought to be doing something...Somebody, get to work...Cash out your 401(k)...Borrow...Anything but...Go fishing!
I'm thinking more like slash the budget, take a 2nd job, strategize, manage, panic....plan. I'm pretty sure that I never would have heard the part about money in a fish's mouth. My mind would have taken off with what I could do. How I could. I may not have even heard His offer. I may have never cast the line that found the fish that lead me to Him.
So, I'm going fishing...with faith.
Can you imagine the deep down in your gut, slow-building, and uncontrollable, bellowing laugh that must have echoed across the lake when Peter opened that fish's mouth...and saw that the Lord is good, that the Lord is able, that the Lord really doesn't make this stuff up! Peter saw the power, the playfulness, and the provision!
I have to believe that if I could find money in a fish's mouth to supply my need that I would never again worry about money or finances or saving and preparing and strategizing or bank balances or having enough or ME! I'd spend it all on Him! Deposit it in Heaven's Treasury! I'd know that money is NOTHING to HIM! Provision is EVERYTHING to Him. He delights in it the way I delight in taking care of my bride, my boys, my little girlies! And then I remember - this really happened! But somehow I beat the truth back down: "Will, you're not going to really find money in a fish's mouth." "Wisdom" and "maturity" and "experience" tell me to expect His provision from a "realistic" source. To get back to "working hard" and figuring how I can scrape it together. Be "wise" and "balance stewardship" of all God has given me with "reasonable generosity". And I'm stealing from myself the chance to let my Father in Heaven show up in a surprise! Like no one else, in ways no one can! Meeting me where the impossible intersects with the laughable!
So, I'm always telling Melanie my favorite words in all of scripture are "so" and "therefore". She always gives me a smile and a tilted-head look of "Will, those words aren't allowed to be favorites. Try again." But they are. I love those words!
They always follow truth and indicate response. And that response is almost always simple. A call to do what He says. A call to believe! And I want to be that kind of adopted son and follower of Jesus! (And by the way, see the following verses in Matthew 18. All about being like little children. Pretty sure my boys believe this story easier than I do!)
So...I'm going fishing. And I'm taking my faith with me. And I'm looking inside the mouths of fish for how He will show up! Correct that, I'm looking for COINS in my next BIG MOUTH BASS! Really! My Dad can do anything, you know! And He has the most hilarious and crazy and unbelievable ways He wants to show up for me...if I'll let Him. If I'll simply look for it. He wants to make me laugh! Especially in the face of the heavy and the hard. Especially when I'm helpless. Especially when I'm not sure how I'll get from here to there!
So...I'm going fishing. We're going fishing. Me and the boys and the girls. And we'd love for you to go fishing with us!
As a way for the boys to be involved in ransoming their new little sister and to witness God's showing up, we are making hand-made fishing lures. They are great FATHERS' DAY GIFTS and a great way to witness to others, start a conversation,or literally fish for men! It's also just plain fun to see if these little guys can catch a fish! (see Matthew 17:24-27 if your doubting their design quality!!!) They come in a baby food jar with a picture of Faith Ana, a picture of the boys who made them, and the reminder of Matthew 4:19 to be fishers of men. It's a way for people to be connected to Faith Ana's story. To participate. It's a way to make those two letters come alive: SO...
We're asking for $15 each, and you can order through www.xomission.com or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org! ALL the proceeds go toward bringing Faith Ana home!
P.S. Check out these videos to see what fishing with 4 little men looks like! Nobody has been hooked, yet! (I'm sure that I will be first!)
Blackmon Brothers Fishing!
The Happiest Little Fisherman!