During the quiet hours I spent with Ethan in the hospital, almost seven years ago, there was a question I kept asking God.
"Why would you do this for me?"
"Why the strength, the peace, the comfort?"
For years I had been running away from God. I had not read His Word. I had not spent time with other believers. I had not read books that told me of others' experiences with Him.
The day my world fell apart, my spiritual tank was empty.
And then, at the worst time of my life, I felt a tremendous awareness of His presence. I was doing things that I knew I couldn't be doing in my own strength. I had hope when there was no reason for hope. I had comfort from God, when there wasn't anything anyone could say or do to even come close to consoling my breaking heart.
I knew, without a doubt, that what I was experiencing was from God. And not just from Him, but that what I was experiencing was God Himself.
I knew there were some things you could make up, some things you could psych yourself into believing to be able to get through a hard time. But, I knew, with everything inside of me, that what I was experiencing was as real as the love I felt for Ethan.
So, my question was "why?"
"Why would you do this for me?"
I had heard the saying, "When you are in the dark, remember what you learned in the light."
I was in the dark, with very, very little learned in the light, and my faith was strong.
I was strong.
And, I wanted to know why He had made me strong.
A friend came by the hospital for a visit and she brought me a prayer journal. On the first page of the journal there were several references to Bible verses.
Spending 15 to 16 hours a day in a hospital room, I had lots of time to read. I began looking up the verses listed in the journal.
It was in one of those verses I found the answer to my question "why He had done what He had done for me."
It was in a parable Jesus told that Mathew had recorded in chapter 20.
Early in the morning a vineyard owner hired workers to work in his fields for a $1.00 a day. Around 9:00, he hired more workers with the understanding they would be paid a fair wage. The vineyard owner hired more workers at 12:00 noon, 3:00 and at 5:00. All were promised a fair wage.
When the day was over, around 6:00, the vineyard owner told his foreman to pay the workers starting with the last ones hired, the ones who started work at 5:00. The ones who had only worked an hour.
When the early morning workers saw that the workers that had only worked an hour get paid $1.00, they were excited thinking they would be paid much more than the $1.00 they had first agreed to work for.
But, when it was their turn to be paid, they were also paid $1.00. They became upset and accused the vineyard owner of being unfair.
When accused of being unfair, the vineyard owner said, "It's my vineyard and my money. Is it unfair for me to do with it as I please? I AM GENEROUS."
When I read the words where Jesus described himself as GENEROUS, I had my answer.
Jesus had been GENEROUS to me. That was His answer as to "why He had done WHAT He had done for me."
The love and grace of Jesus, isn't anything like man's.
It isn't like mine.
It isn't "divvied out" according to performance. It can't be earned. It's worth more than we can ever imagine.
God is faithful to His promises, as He demonstrated to the early morning workers in the vineyard, but He is never restricted as to whom He shows His mercy, His strength, His presence.
His love is too great. His heart is to big.
He owns it all.
He created it all.
He gives it all.
And, Jesus gave it all to me. When I first called out to Him, He gave it all.
We have a GENEROUS God.
A God who wants to give and give and give.
If you have a need, ask.
If you feel like you don't deserve it, ask anyway.
None of us deserve what He has to give but He calls Himself GENEROUS.
And oh, how my heart agrees.
" . . . the Lord longs to be gracious to you,