I went to fitness camp for three weeks this summer. Endless fodder for conversation there, but today I share with you a few things I learned about portion size and portion control. When it comes to nutrition and fueling these bodies, it matters what we eat, when we eat, how often we eat and, yes, how much we eat. Portion size matters.
Upon returning home, my first Sunday back in worship, I had to laugh when I read the sermon title: “The Lord is My Portion.” The spiritual questions come quickly: am I satisfied with the Lord as my portion or has my appetite become so corrupted that I want something other than the Lord as my portion?
Psalm 73 is a community wisdom Psalm that unfolds in honest confession. When the Psalmist looks at the world, at the seeming abundance of the wicked all around him, he envies their portion. He sees them flourishing and flaunting the fatness of their lives, reveling in riches, presenting themselves as lacking nothing. But is that the truth? Is that an accurate picture of reality?
It seems so, until… Until. That’s the word you’re looking for in verse 17 (NASB). The faithless seem to be getting what the faithful deserve, until… Things begin to change when the Psalmist enters the sanctuary and re-sets his mind on things above, gaining God’s eternal perspective on the temporal realities of the day.
My portion is the Lord Himself! What in all the earth could I want more than that?! Indeed, nothing in all the earth compares with You!
This Psalm has me rethinking the parable of the Father and the two sons. We often focus our attention on the one we call the prodigal. He took his portion of the inheritance and he wasted it. Eventually he came to himself and recognized that the portion he really wanted was to be a son of the Father. That’s the story we hear most often. But what about the other son? The son who never left the Father’s house missed the portion as well. “You have been with me all along,” the Father says to him. “All I have is yours.”
And what if we applied this thought about the portion to the answer Jesus gives in Luke 10:38-42?
Martha is the consummate hostess and, from Martha’s perspective, her sister, Mary, is failing to do her part. Martha asks Jesus to intervene and tell Mary to help. But Jesus says, “Martha, Martha, you are distracted by many things. Mary has chosen the better portion and it will not be taken from her.” The better portion is the presence – the better portion is being with Jesus.
We tend to measure our worth by the values of this world instead of the Kingdom of God. By the Kingdom measure, the ultimate portion – the meat of which Jesus ate (John 4:32), the portion assigned to the Levites (Deut 10), the secret of being content (Phil 4:11-12) – the piece we need: His Peace. The peace that comes by being in His presence, now and forevermore.
The Lord is my portion and with Him I am thoroughly satisfied, lacking no good thing. His grace is sufficient and He is more than enough.