My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 23:76
How many times have I described the Lord as ‘all I had left’ – after something of great value was taken away? “I lost everything and God was all I had.” Really? It’s as if the real things of value were removed, leaving me with some stray object, God.
The truth is that I have God plus whatever else I enjoy. God is my portion. Housing, food, relationships, employment are all extras.
Have I been in a position when employment was removed and our family lived not knowing where our next meal would come from? Yes. Did I believe at the time that the Lord was my portion? I don’t think my heart was alive enough to Him to internalize that. However, our family lived in prayer for provision and God was faithful.
Have I been in a position to lose precious relationships, in death and in life? Yes. Did I experience God as my portion? Thankfully, yes. Some of the losses were so staggering that I don’t think I would have survived mentally and emotionally if God had not strengthened my soul and been my companion.
For anyone to really say, “All I need is God” and mean it, it must be tested in the wilderness of need. I don’t wish that on anyone nor am I sadistic enough to crave any more wilderness lessons for myself. However, should they come (and they probably will), each of us has the opportunity to press in to the One who satisfies our soul.
The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119 is full or promises. His heart pours itself out like a young person in love, making vows for life. One thing is clear though, he is not starry eyed and inexperienced. He has suffered. His proclamations of love are intense because the pain was intense. His love language is made up of spiritual grit, a grit carved out of faith that was built in hard times. So is mine if, when tested, I trust and don’t curse.
You are my portion, God. I promise to keep your words for the days I have left on this earth. Amen