“Well, then,” Jesus said, “… go down to the lake and throw in a line. Open the mouth of the first fish you catch, and you will find a large silver coin. Take it and pay the tax for both of us.”
~ Matthew 17:24:27
Disclaimer: Red car pictured here only resembles the memory-glazed image of the “jaunty car” in this story. Though the real one was not quite as glam, something about this does capture the feel! 🙂 (I just couldn’t resist this clipart, Charlene…right down to your sporty sunglasses I can still see you wearing!)
During our college semester breaks, my roommates and I returned to our family homes, spread out an hour apart in three opposite directions from campus, by hectic California freeways. I’d asked them to meet at mine for an afternoon, plan a time to catch up. Maybe we could even splurge on a reasonable and fun restaurant lunch!
Finally we’d found a date that worked. More than food, it was the laugh-till-we-cried goofiness we were all craving as Cathy and Charlene pulled up to my driveway in separate cars. We had maybe three dollars a piece on us – a deep-pocket stretch for us ever-broke students in those days – but we could always split sandwiches if necessary. Piling into Charlene’s jaunty red car, her long blonde hair streaming out the window, we took off for a favorite chili and pie place, running on mile-a-minute girl talk.
The somewhat commercial back roads were relatively traffic-free as we tooled along, when suddenly something light fluttered and flew across the windshield, whisked high into the wind.
“Oh… my… gosh! Did you see that?” Charlene (the soon to be bank professional) screeched. “I think its money!”
“Wha–?!” Cathy and I spluttered, then screamed, as Charlene speedily checked her rearview, spun the car around to an empty lane and chased down the flying green paper now skittering across the road. She brought us to a rocking stop and hopping out, snatched it just as it was about to take off again. Cathy and I gaped in astonishment.
“Girls!” she shouted, waving it like a triumphant ticket to the yellow brick road. “You won’t believe this! It’s twenty whole dollars!”
We scanned the block to see if anyone might be searching for a lost bill, but in this office park area on a weekend, there was little activity.
Eyes glistening, we stared unbelievingly at each other for a moment. Then burst into gleeful laughter. “Wow,” we chimed in united awe.
Instantly, I pictured the prayer and praise sheet we had tacked up back in our campus apartment. The simple everyday prayers we had listed there… for our tests to go well, for my grandma who was ill, for our grocery funds to stretch. Most of all we loved re-reading our day by day record of His mysterious ways answers. Sometimes, even to petitions we hadn’t had time to put into words yet. Like the gift of being able to splurge on a fun lunch together and 60-mile gas money – two ways — for two.
That afternoon, those mile-high ham-stacks, accompanied by generous slices of homemade corn bread and honey butter, topped off with warm berry pie became our loaves and fishes celebration.
© Pam Depoyan
… An Added Note… 🙂
The other night, I heard a minister talking about two incredible instances of God’s manna from Heaven provision. In the first, he told of his then high school graduating son, and one weekend they’d spent as a family at a lake cottage some years ago. Calling the young man in, he watched as his son stopped, looked deeply into the water at his feet, stooped and plucked $20 dollars out of the people-empty lake! Later that night, as the boy drove back to town, his car ran out of gas. Reaching into his pocket, his fingers found the only money he had – the $20 Just enough to fill his tank!
“But that’s not all,” the minister went on, unfolding another just as unbelievable story about his father and mother in-law, when they were young ministers themselves, just starting out, and wondering where their next dinner was going to come from. While they were walking along a street, something green whooshed by them on the wind and fluttered to the ground against a nearby wall. Running over, they scooped it up. Again — $20! And again — not a person about that could have been searching for it. Awestruck at God’s apparent provision, they could only praise Him. And looking up… they realized where they were. Standing right outside a wonderful dinner restaurant they’d never imagined eating at that night…
Goosebumps ran up and down my arms as I listened… remembering this little moment in my own life that I’ve shared above. “Hmmm… Mysterious-er and Mysterious-er,” Alice might have said. As for me and my friends… we KNOW. The wonder of God’s delight in giving to His children…in the most unexpected ways…at just the right moment! Hearing our hearts prayers even unspoken. Plunking us right down in the absolute right place at the right split-second…
I don’t know why each of these stories held the same $20 amount. But I DO know… His eyes are on His sparrows! And today… if you are in need of your own little miracle, may the recounting of praise for these triple-20 blessings multiply His assurance and provision back to you…in all ways… from our Jehovah Jireh…