Did anyone ever notice that little story in the book of Matthew, chapter 17, where Jesus and Peter have a dialogue regarding the problem of the tax-collectors who are about to come looking for money? Jesus sends Peter fishing, telling him the first fish he catches will have enough money to cover both of their taxes, resting in its mouth.
I've always found encouragement in that story, in that there is the knowledge that God can provide for us even from the most unlikely sources. We just have to trust Him.
A little while ago, He brought this story to mind again. This time, we went a little deeper. Stressed out about money and bills and people who needed money to pay their bills, I asked Him to show me how to pray. He said, "go fishing." I knew he was referring to the Jesus-Peter-fish story. But at first I wasn't exactly sure how to relate this advice to our current situation.
He asked, "what did Peter do for a living?"
"Well, Lord, He was a fisherman."
"Yes. A fisherman. A seasoned fisherman. Catching fish was one of the few things he knew really well."
"Okay. I think I'm getting this . . ."
"Just do what you know to do, child. Do what is in front of you to do. Be faithful, and not anxious, in your everyday tasks. In the profession I have placed you in."
And then there came the kicker.
"If you will be faithful with what I have given you to do, and choose to 'only believe', you WILL see my glory. There is a time coming and is at hand where My people will reap generous rewards from the work of their hands, when they have chosen to move forward in obedience and faith. The return from their labour will be MUCH GREATER than what it is worth in the natural realm, just as the coin in the fish's mouth was much more valuable than the fish itself."
Well, that seemed easy. Choose to believe and then do what I know to do, in obedience to Him.
The next day, He pointed out something else about this fishing excursion. Peter was used to fishing. He was used to having to catch a substantial number of fish in order to make a decent living. And yet, in this story, Jesus says, "the first fish you catch." It was not going to be difficult for Peter to catch that fish. One fish! I believe the LORD is showing us that we do not need to strive or be anxious about our work, as though we have to do our part in earning His favour. I believe He is showing us that we need only believe in Him and His great love for us. He is the One who will provide ALL THINGS. We must only believe and be obedient to what He has called us to do!