“Go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin.” // Matthew 17:27
A stain to treat, a meal to make, a floor to sweep, a meeting to prep. I ran the list through my mind, trying to gather my thoughts and my will. I needed to get those four things done in the next few hours, but my fuddled mind and sorrowful heart protested. My home was quiet, in a sort of summer afternoon lull, as I stood at the cross-section of my hallway. I needed to go forward, yet all I could do was stand in the silence and try to process the national news I had just heard.
I needed to go downstairs and get grass stains out of baseball pants. I needed to go to the garage to pull meat out of the freezer. I needed to call my congressmen. The news seemed so big—too big—and it overwhelmed me to the point of immobility.
But immobility is not the example that we’re given in today’s Gospel. Instead, while we first read that the disciples were overwhelmed with grief, (Matthew 17:23) we are then immediately told that the disciples traveled to a new town and were questioned by the temple’s tax collectors (Matthew 17:24). At that point, there is no time for standing still because Jesus gave Peter a list of his own.
Go to the sea. Drop in a hook. Catch the fish. Get the coin. Pay the tax (see Matthew 17:27).
And there was my answer, too. Eventually I would make my voice heard via my vote, just as eventually the disciples really would grieve. But in those immediate moments, Peter caught a fish and paid a tax, and I treated a stain, made a meal, swept a floor, and prepped for a meeting.
Is there something in your life that seems so big that you don’t know what to do? Perhaps Jesus is asking you to tackle what’s right in front of you. Ask Him in prayer.Perhaps Jesus is asking you to tackle what’s right in front of you. // Bonnie Engstrom Click To Tweet