Overcoming Darkness

The LORD Still Has a Purpose for You

Jesus brings hope to those who feel as if life is passing them by, as if there is no purpose or meaning for their life.

The Word of God is an inexhaustible fount of wisdom.

As Jesus said: Every teacher of the Way of Jesus “is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” (Matthew 13:52).

I discovered this truth anew recently, as I read the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16).

This is the Parable where Jesus talks about how God (the generous landowner of the Parable) paid the same amount to the workers who started working near the end of the day as he paid to the workers who began working at the beginning of the day.

The workers who had worked the longest “began to grumble against the landowner. ‘These who were hired last worked only an hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’” (Matthew 20:11-12).

The landowner defended the fairness of his actions. He paid the workers who worked the entire day what they had agreed to work for. As for being so generous to those who worked for only an hour, the landowner said: “‘Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?” (Matthew 20:13-15).

I have read and studied this parable many times over the decades. All of those times, I focused on whether the landlord was being fair. Perhaps I focused on the issue of fairness because I am a lawyer who minored in economics in college.

According to the Gospel of Economics, each of us should be paid for the economic value of what we produce. Ergo, the workers who work the longest should be paid the most. Any other amount of pay undermines the efficiency of the economy and reduces the total amount of goods and services produced by society as a whole.

I appreciated that God (the generous landlord) demonstrated Amazing Grace. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but think that the LORD might benefit from learning modern economics!

I’m kidding, of course. The Truth is that Life would be much better if we followed the Way of Jesus better by showing more Amazing Grace to more people!

In contrast, this time when I read this Parable, my attention was captured by the verses where the landlord asks people who were “standing around” late in the day:

“Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?” “Because no one has hired us,” they answered. He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’” (Matthew 20:6-7).

For the first time, I focused on the hope that these words brought to those who were standing around because no one had hired them.

Despair and depression are hallmarks of the 21st Century, especially since the Covid Pandemic and the first birth pangs from Climate Change. (see my blog “Lahaina: The Finger of God—and of Humans!”)

Many people who are coming of age in the Twenty-First Century feel as if life is passing them by.


They’re falling further and further behind in attaining the American Dream.

They feel as if it’s already getting “late in the day’, yet no one wants them. As if no one will ever hire them.

As if they will never find a purpose for their life. Much less find the purpose for their life.

To all such hopeless people—of all ages—Jesus has good news!

The LORD our God is a “generous landlord”. He will hire everyone who is still standing around “doing nothing”.

He still has plans for them, just as he still had plans for his followers when Jerusalem and its Temple lay in ruins, and many of his people had been carried away as captives by the Babylonians. (Lamentations 3:21-23).

Despite their fear and discouragement, God did not want them to succumb to their fear and discouragement. God didn’t want them standing around “doing nothing”.

God wanted them—and us—to find comfort and purpose.


Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,

   for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

   great is [his] faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23).

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,

   “plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.”

(Jeremiah 29:11-13).


Because Jesus came that we may have life and may enjoy life fully! (John 10:10).


When have you felt as if you were standing around doing nothing? How? Why?

As if your life was going nowhere? How? Why?

As if your life lacked a purpose? How? Why?

When have you felt as if your life was going somewhere good? Is meaningful?

As if you had a purpose? How? Why?

As if Humanity and civilization have a purpose? Are meaningful? How? Why?

As if Jesus came that you (and all Humanity) may have life and enjoy life to the full? How? Why?


For related thoughts about how the resurrection of Jesus restores meaning and purpose to life so that we may enjoy life to the full, please read my blogs: “Overcoming Oceans of Despair”, “Overcoming Oceans of Hopeless Confusion”, “Overcoming Oceans of Fears”, “Overcoming Oceans of Doubts”, and “Overcoming Oceans of Failures”.