Saturday, December 22, 2012
25 Days of Christmas Presence--Day 22
Years ago at a very difficult crossroads in my life journey I was at a retreat. There were some incredibly amazing people present. People I respected and had considered to be mentors in the faith. It was the evening session and we were to share a Scripture that God was using in our lives.
When this woman read hers I underlined the whole passage in my Bible. I didn’t think much of it at the time other than it was a powerful passage. And I didn’t fully comprehend it. Earlier this year I was going through my Bible and found the markings with the dates and the woman’s name. And the verses were suddenly illuminated for me. I read and reread the passage.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26
When we think of portions we think of McDonald’s and their sizes of fries. Or we comment on a restaurant’s sizes of portions. Or we explain that this is your portion of the program to delegate and conduct. But to the Hebrew people a portion was an incredibly important allotment. To be given a portion was to be given a part, piece or investment of and in something valuable. When Elisha clung to Elijah before Elijah was taken up in the fiery chariots he asked God for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. When Elkanah was giving meat to his family he gave Hannah a double portion; this act showed Elkanah’s favor and was an expression of his love.
Like Hannah and Elisha I want a double portion of the Presence of God.
I want him to hold me by my right hand—and I don’t want to let go.
I want him to guide me with HIS counsel—I don’t trust my own.
I want him to take me into his glory—into the weight and essence of who he is.
I want him to be who I desire—I have desired so much that was not good and right.
I want him to be the strength of my heart—my own has failed me.
I want him to be my portion—forever, not just momentarily or temporarily.
This Christmas I want a double portion. And I am going to be bold enough to ask. Because of Jesus coming, because of his grace, because of his mercy, because of his love I have been given a portion in the Kingdom of God. This has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with me. It is not that I have been good enough. It is not that I have not sinned. It is not that I do everything right or make all the right choices. It is only through his grace...
I am not going to let it go. I am not going to allow it to be robbed from me or mine. By the grace of God I will claim my double portion.
And the Father is willing to give this to me. To you. To us.
His sending of Jesus is our proof. He is the visible reality that God longs to redeem his people and give them their portion in his kingdom.
But there is something that floors me. There is one phrase that stuns me. In Deuteronomy* Moses is singing. And he sings, “For the Lord’s portion is his people.”
Back at the beginning of this series of devotions we talked about God’s pleasure and that he wanted us to be his people. His people. We are his portion. We are valuable to him. We are the allotment that he desires.
When I think about who I am, when I think about who the people are around me, when I think about this world that we live in I cannot fathom this phrase uttered through Moses.
But it is by God's determination that we his portion. We are the portion that belongs to God.
And then it comes full circle with this tiny little baby—he made this portion possible. He is God’s favor toward us. He is the expression of God’s love.
You are our portion. You are the good and valuable in our lives. We want double. Oh, we long to be a good portion for you. A portion you cherish. Please help us, Lord. Our hearts will fail us if we attempt to do this alone. If we trust in our own strength it will prove to be far too weak. Please always be with us and help us to be bold enough to claim what is already ours. Amen.
Daily Activity: This Christmas what are you going to ask God for? What do you want a single or double portion of? What is worth the asking?