Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshiped. Job 1:1-22 In one day Job lost everything (except his life). By one act (worshiping God) he defined who he was. Of course that’s not the whole of the story. Over time he suffered self loathing, questioned and yelled at God, endured and resisted his “friends” twisted advise. Though Job’s calamities were not by his own hand, he was who God knew him to be. In the end God prevailed. Perhaps not blameless like Job, we must not forget that we are whom God knows us to be. Rabbi Baruch S. Davidson writes: Regardless of where you’ve fallen, …your soul can wrestle free and recommit to serve G‑d with sincerity and passion. The axe of earnest remorse can bring down any wall, whether preexisting or created by your actions, clearing the way for you to come home to your true self.
…cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up;…open its mouth, you will find a coin… Matthew 17-22-27 The first time I went fishing out on a boat was in Virginia while visiting a friend. I was twelve. We caught a few fish that day but not one had a coin in its mouth. Nevertheless, I’ve loved fishing and Virginia ever since. Some how even at twelve I found peace in both the place and the activity. By profession Peter was a fisherman. Following Jesus around would certainly have taken some time away from doing the one thing that allows him to provide for his family. The issue of the temple tax had to cause some anxiety. What other way to put his mind at ease than to instruct Peter to go do the one thing that he knows; casting a hook? Finding a coin in the mouth of a fish is perhaps the oddest of “miracles” but not so far fetched. Fish are attracted to shiny silver things. Why couldn’t a small coin falling in the water from a boat be one of them? This event helps me to understand that our discipleship is not about experiencing miracles. It’s more about God allowing us to be at peace with who we are as we follow him, blessing us as we use every part of our gifts to the Glory of His Name.