As a teacher, the Lord was really gracious to me in many ways. I was slow to anger and almost never allowed my children to see it when I was. However, there were sure ways to real test me in that area. In particular, I had pretty near zero-tolerance for unrepentant grumbling. You see, in my mind, the kids were pretty fortunate to have me as their teacher. They knew that they were loved and that Rue and I sacrificed a lot on their behalf, which we were glad to do. In general, they were thankful and complained little. However, every once in awhile the class wouldn’t get their way. Maybe they couldn’t play in the gym like they wanted or eat all of their Halloween candy in class. Perhaps I forbade them from bringing their cell phones or required that they where uniforms. Whatever the issue might be, every once in awhile the entire class would rise up in a cacophony of grumbling. (Did I use that word correctly?). Sometimes I would just look at them with an expression that screamed, “Really??!!” Other times I was weaker and begin to list all the reasons they should have attitudes of gratitude. Didn’t they get how good they had it? Had I not yet proven that I was working for their good?
I was reminded of this today as I read Isaiah 5. Isaiah sings this little love ditty about a beloved and His bride who turns out to be a very disappointing wife indeed. He uses the imagery of a vineyard that produced sour grapes. At the end of the parable, the listeners find out that they–the people of israel–are the sour grapes. The Lord ends the parable with this statement and question:
“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between Me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done to it?”
I am so quick to bring a charge against the Lord. I accuse Him of withholding from me or not blessing me in the way that I feel I deserve.
I feel nauseous even typing that. The words of Romans 8:32 echo in my mind: “ He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
The Lord gave me His son. Is there really anything that He hasn’t done for me? Do I really have the nerve and so much pride that I would accuse Him of withholding? I need to be reminded over and over again of the infinite worth of Jesus. I want to heed the words of the author of Hebrews to not neglect such a great salvation.
I think Psalm 16 says it best:
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Thank You so much my inheritance of You, Jesus. You are beautiful.