Some people are luckier than others. Whether we want to deny it or not, it is a fact. This applied specifically to me. Unlike some of my peers, I did not grow up in a house of love and happiness. It was not a house where the Bible had any special value.
Because of various factors, my belief in God was non-existent. Only later in life did I come to the truth. I found out that there is Somebody up there who cares for me. Still it took many years to ‘normalise.’ I felt they were wasted years. Sometimes I pondered how sad it was that I came to Christ so late.
However, as I studied the Bible, I understood how wonderful God is. The parable of the workers in the vineyard comforted me immensely.1 It is the parable where Jesus explains what the kingdom of heaven is like. He said a landowner went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day. Then he hired more workers at the third, sixth, ninth and eleventh hours. When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman to pay the workers their wages. All the workers received a denarius. You can imagine how upset those were who bore the burden of the work and the heat of the day. Yet the owner answered that he was not unfair, because he fulfilled his promise to them.
I applied it to myself as follows: Gerard, you were not one of those who were hired first (20:1). You were not even one of those who were hired in the third, sixth or ninth hour (20:3-4). However, at the eleventh hour, God came around, saw you, and said, go and work in my vineyard. NB! I don’t understand this necessarily that I had to become a minister. I never did, and probably never will.
What I understood from the parable was that God told me, He is the Creator God and He has a plan for me in His Kingdom. Jesus and the Holy Spirit will make it possible for me to accomplish it and I will not suffer loss (Matthew 20:9-16).
Isn’t it wonderful. The straggler is not regarded as a loser in God’s Kingdom. He appreciates every one that turns around, loves Him and serves Him. That is one of the reasons I love the Lord. He has been so good to me. He consoled me so much by saying, ‘No, I did not miss it. The pay is the same.’ Thank You, Lord Jesus.
1. Matthew 20:1-16