On Monday night my mother kept our kids so hubby and I could enjoy a wonderful date night. We sat talking and enjoying a meal at a local seafood restaurant. Being that we were both eating fish, a certain passage that the kids and I had been reading the day before in Matthew came to mind. Hubby and I talked about that famous story of the fish with a coin in its mouth. Do you remember that one? It is found in Matthew 17:24-26.
Essentially this is what went down: The disciples had come to a certain city by the sea and after arriving, tax collectors went up to one of the disciples and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” The disciple then went to Jesus, who, in typical Jesus-style, answered the question with a bit of a parable, His final answer being, “… the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”
I have always loved the sheer craziness of this miracle. I can only imagine how Jesus’ voice and tone may have sounded as he gave those crazy and yet so matter-of-fact instructions for provision. And then, for the disciple who followed the instructions, casted out that line, and indeed caught the fish with a coin in its mouth… How crazy would that have been?
Hubby and I began discussing the question I have often pondered , “How exactly did that coin get in that fish’s mouth anyway?”
Sure, Jesus could have mysteriously and miraculously formed a coin from nothing, but I tend to imagine a different scenario. I tend to imagine a man out on some edge of the sea with a coin in his pocket. Perhaps it is his last coin. Perhaps it was just change from a recent purchase. Whatever it may be, there he is with this coin in his pocket.
Suddenly the man gets this crazy inclination from what he perceives to be God… A little nudging in his spirit to “Throw out that coin.” And he is standing there… Thinking, “That’s crazy.” Yet again, he feels it, “Throw our that coin.” He stands, wrestling with his thoughts, until finally he throws the coin. It sinks below the surface and is swallowed up by a certain fish.
He never saw the fish. He never saw anything at all, except his coin sinking down in a muddy sea and he walks away forever wondering and sometimes doubting, “Why in the world did I do that? How stupid. See, nothing happen.”
Ok- I know- how the coin got in the mouth of the fish was not recorded, but it does make one wonder, how did it get there? And what IF? What IF it did get there because one man, or woman, boy or girl, threw out a coin because of some “crazy” inclination.
What if God today or tonight gave you some crazy inclination to do something in order to provide for a need that you cannot perceive? Would you do it? And if you did it- that crazy thing- only to find after you have done it that it seemed entirely pointless- would you still believe?
What if crazy inclinations are indeed tied to crazy miracles? How crazy would that be and how essential could we all be?
Something to think about the next time you get a crazy little inclination.