I remember the first time I really understood the parable of the vineyard workers. I heard this Bible story the majority of my life, but it finally clicked in 2018 when I was spending most of the year in and out of the hospital.
In Matthew 20, Jesus was telling the story of a man who needed help with his harvest. He hired some men for the day and after telling them the days wage they accepted the offer and began working. Throughout the day, he realized he needed more help to get the work completed. So, he went out multiple times and hired more workers. Each time he offered the wage to his new workers, they accepted and set out to work. At the end of the day, he called all the workers together and paid them the same days wage. It was the wage he had offered to them, the offer they all accepted. But the men who had worked all day in the fields were angry. They said they were being cheated because they worked harder and longer than the others and should be paid more than those who had worked only the last few hours. In reality, the problem wasn’t the amount they were being paid. He gave the workers what had been promised to them. The problem was in the workers who had felt cheated when they compared their life to someone else’s. The problem arose when the workers took their eyes off of their own mission and forgot the offer they accepted. They focused on the people who worked less time and not as hard as them.
I have to remind myself of this story because it was hard for me not to feel cheated at times. It was hard for me to be thankful on a holiday weekend when I have to be in a hospital room. When there is no bustle of family or friends, when I can’t enjoy a turkey dinner, when I had no one to talk with and laugh with and reminisce with and grieve with. It was hard when I compared my isolated existence with what I knew was happening everywhere else. I found myself forgetting the promise he made to me. I promised Him my whole life, and He promised He would love me, never leave me, and take me home to have eternal life in Heaven someday. It was the “wage” He promised me, the wage I accepted and it’s only when I take my eyes off that promise that I feel cheated. God is honoring His deal. Saying, “I want what she has” did nothing but allow me to keep seeing with my own eyes instead of trusting what God was doing in my own life! I know that God has a purpose for me, and that my job is to be faithful to whatever comes with my life. I will do my daily task and honor Him. I love what I have instead of complaining about what I don’t have. I am blessed and highly favored. I am a child of God. The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing! I will always say to those who are comparing their lives to others don’t trust your eyes, trust HIS promises, because what God has for you is for you! It might not feel good, but Faith isn’t a feeling. It’s believing despite our feelings.