September 1, 2011

God — my portion

After a lifetime of very little caffeine because I do not like colas nor the taste of coffee, I tried Vanilla Coke® when it first came out and liked it. The next thing I knew, I was in the ER with a racing heart. I didn’t make the connection until two weeks later when I drank another bottle of vanilla coke with the same results.

The doctor diagnosed this an A-fib. However, I’ve been relatively symptom-free as long as I avoid caffeine and the rich chocolate found in desserts like lava cake. Since I had a childhood disease that affected my heart (a leaky valve), this A-fib thing added more concern about the health of my heart. It also increased my love for what the psalmist says in Psalm 73:26. Here it is in context:

You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:24–26)
The psalmist knew the guidance and care of God. He knew his eternal destination promised by God. He knew that God was his sole desire on earth, and even when his body declined, God would be there for Him, his strength and his inheritance for all time and eternity.

Spurgeon uses these verses to emphasize that God does guide His people. He gave us all the instruction we need in written form in His Word. Whenever I need to know the mind of God (which is most of the time), the Bible spells it out for me. Scripture can be difficult to understand at times, but the Holy Spirit has a way of opening it up for me and giving me what is needed for each day, even for each problem or situation. My part is to read it, study it and remember what it says.

God also gave us His Word in human form. Jesus, the Word made flesh who lived among us. Whenever I need to know the heart of God and how He does things, I can look to Jesus and see God perfectly represented in a way that even a little child can understand. Hebrews 1:3 says, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature. . . .”

While others may think that the promises of God are about the next life only, the psalmist also knew that this is a limited view of God. He wrote, “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62:8)

God will take me to glory, but He is also here for me in every problem and challenge of life, big or small, significant or trivial, He is my refuge and my strength. He takes care of my heart and helps me find misplaced car keys. He answers my prayers for safety in danger and guides me through the grocery aisles. He hears and forgives when I confess serious sins and those little lapses that no one notices except me — and His Spirit.

Others might say not to “bother God” with the trivia of life. Why then does the psalmist bid me to “trust in Him at all times”? Who do I have in heaven or on earth that cares about the “all times” including each and every moment of life? Only God. 

Father, You invite me to pour out my heart to You. Sometimes this is for big issues, like the fears that go with a heart racing at more than 175 beats a minute when I’m lying in bed, but it is also for the frustrations of daily living. I feel weak and You are my strength. I feel unsure and You guide me. I am sad and You cheer me. I need grace to care for others and You give it. The key is knowing that trivia does not bother You. Instead, when I ask for help in the little things, I am declaring that You are God of my life — all of it — and that I need You all the time — my help and my refuge. Amen.

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