The first story was Jonah and the Whale. Click the link to read it all. It is short. I could hear the still small voice of God tell my heart "Laura, you are just like Jonah. You would rather endure a great storm than to have someone that you hate enjoy my mercy. That is greed. That is envy."
Oh my goodness, I was surprised by this revelation. I always thought Jonah was so wicked in his disobedience. I judged him harshly, thinking "Jonah, how could you wish all those people dead?" But just as it says in Romans 2:1 whatever I judge in someone else, I am guilty of the same.
I hadn't really gotten the full affect of this revelation before my Lord was speaking to me again.
This time it was the story of The Prodigal Son. I stood in the place of the elder brother, angry. God, my father came out to meet me, to entreat me. My response?
"No Lord. I don't want to celebrate his homecoming. I have been here working hard for you, obeying, serving. He has wasted all my time. I could have had a happy life, but he has made it miserable! Now you want to celebrate!"
Gently, always gently, "Laura, my daughter, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." Luke 15:31 Does God take away his blessing from one child to give to another? No. He is big enough.
I was starting to cringe a little at this new idea of me being a greedy envious person ~ wanting all of God's blessing for myself and maybe for the "deserving" people too. But everyone? My enemies? Hm.
And finally, there was a third story. This was the clincher. This was the pounding gavel that declared, without question, my envy. It was the parable of the Householder who hired laborers for his vineyard. The Lord showed me that I was standing in the shoes of the workers hired early in the day. After all, I have been a Christian for many years.
Payday (the blessings of knowing the householder) was coming. The thought of my enemy receiving the same as me...
There is a reason why the Bible is full of verses like Proverbs 14:12, which reads "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
Deep in my heart I knew that my obedience to God might actually help my enemy to be saved. He might not only hear the gospel message, but see it in my life. I refused to obey. I thought I wanted to forgive. I thought I wanted NOT to hate anymore. But God was trying my heart...revealing what was REALLY there.
Gently, yet Firmly, he said to me, "'Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?" Matthew 20:14
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1John 2:16
So what was I envious of? My neighbors beautiful house? Her easy life? Nope. I was envious of the blessings of God. Not willing to share them with people I didn't like or who I thought ought to suffer. Now that I am typing this out it makes me think of how the Jews treated the Samaritans in Bible times. Wow.
Now I know. I have looked in the mirror and seen the truth. Will I be a hearer only? Or will I be a doer?
A doer. I must. God is faithful, he will not leave me here unfinished.