I came limping into the prayer room the other day, feeling bruised by life circumstances – a downturn in my daughter’s health and a car repair that seemed unattainable. Knowing that I needed, as David did when confronted by Ziglag, to strengthen myself in the Lord, I opened to the Psalms. Psalm 16 seemed to jump out and bite me on the nose. Here it goes…
“Lord You have assigned me my portion and my cup. You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places. Surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (v. 5 & 6)
My first impression was to grumpily turn to one of David’s more whiny Psalms, so I could find a partner in gloominess, but something brought me back to the first verse. “You have assigned me my portion and my cup.” Jesus referred to his life circumstance and his “cup”, and also Henri Nouwen, in his book Can you Drink the Cup? challenges us to drink fully from the cup of our lives – to be fully present to our lives and to God in the midst of every circumstance.
And then I thought about Psalm 73. “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Jesus is my portion – my goal, my reward, my prize in the crackerjack box of life. 2 Peter says “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and Godliness, through our knowlege of Him..” So not only is He my portion – He is a sufficient portion – He is enough.
I love the order of Psalm 16. God assigns us first our portion – all the resources of heaven, accessed through knowledge of His Son. Then He assignes us our cup.
Gideon was assigned his portion. “The Lord is with you!” and then assigned his cup – the task to save Israel from the hands of the Midianites.
Isaiah was assigned his portion. A revelation of God and a consecration~cleansed lips. Then assigned his cup – to speak to a hard hearted people who likely wouldn’t listen.
Likewise, Ezekiel recieved knowledge of God and then the assignment to speak to a rebellious nation.
Joshua? The promise of God’s presence, and then a lifetime of war, after 40 years of dragging around in the desert!
My cup? The cup of full time intercessory missions & running the House of Prayer. The cup of caring for husband and daughter with chronic and sometimes debilitating health issues. The cup of my ongoing personal struggle with an eating disorder. Assignments carefully selected for me in heaven before the foundation of the world – my unique position in and contribution to the planet.
My portion? His grace that is sufficient for me, His strength that is made perfect in the midst of all my weakness. He who promises to make all things new.
So I’ll eat of the bread of His presence, and drink from the cup of my life, and stop my whining!