I was reading in Matthew, chapter 20, about the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Jesus is illustrating the heart of the kingdom of heaven. As many times as I have read this parable, my usual selfish response has been, "It's not fair." I have always been convicted that I do not have a humble servant's heart. Jesus is so merciful and works so patiently with me.
It' a difficult story. But as I began to look at it through the eyes of those who stood around waiting to be hired, I started getting a different perspective. Supposing that all the laborers are living paycheck to paycheck; the ones who were hired early on are working hard, but have the peace that comes from knowing their families will eat that night, that their needs are met for that day. The others have progressively less peace and more fear and perhaps hopelessness. So even though they are not physically laboring, they are emotionally and mentally laboring; wondering how they will take care of themselves and their loved ones.
This gives me a different sense. It's not that I feel better because the un-hired workers are stressed all day, but that I know I would certainly prefer to be in the first group- working and resting in assurance.
That's how it is in the kingdom for me. I am so glad to be in, and be laboring for You Lord, knowing the peace and assurance that You give about the future. When I see the trouble, sorrow, fear, torment and hopelessness in those who don't know You, oh how I rejoice in those last minute conversions! I cannot begrudge even a little bit, the reward that they will receive from You.
Thanks for understanding me, Lord! Thanks for giving me a new heart. I am ready to get to work!!