The One That Got Away
by PamFord Davis

The life of a commercial fisherman is demanding and often discouraging as well. My husband's uncle worked many years in the coastal waters of West Palm Beach, FL. He and his wife raised their family with the hard earned money their efforts provided. We often make jokes about "the one that got away;" and they both shared those stories and many more.

I think God must like fishing; and I'll explain my hunch. First let's go back to Jonah and the whale (or great fish). God prepared that whale for that precise moment, and pin point location. Over the years God may have made many checks on the progress of growth and strength of the specimen. The temperament would need to be just right, too. It was not created to kill Jonah, just to give him a place to do some serious praying! After it spewed Jonah and swam away, God may have provided it with an unexpected free meal for work well done!

Next we know Jesus chose several fishermen as His disciples and even gave them advice on how to find a good catch. After His resurrection Jesus met them at the sea side and prepared them a fresh fish breakfast. Any die hard fisherman and camping enthusiast knows the delight of sizzling fish in the skillet!

Last of all God showed His interest and involvement with an unexpected fish with an unexpected gift. When a tax collector quizzed Peter about Jesus' tax payments we get this story" "Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax? He said, yes. And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers? And upon his saying, from strangers, Jesus said to him, consequently the sons are exempt. But, lest we give them offense, go to the sea, and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a stater (or shekel). Take that and give it to them for you and Me (Matthew 17: 24b-27 NAS)." Can you imagine the reaction Peter got when he shared that fish story with his friends? Jesus did not even tell him to bait the hook! That fish would be ready and waiting!

The next time you are at your favorite fishing spot, smile, and remember you never know what could be at the end of your line!

Devotionals are her first love in writing. Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Devotions for the Deaf, The Secret Place, Light from the Word, Coosa Journal, With God Daily, Mary Hollingsworth's The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter.

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