by Stephanie Strom
You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
So much about our pilgrimage on earth is variable. Our days teeter on ever-shifting sand which are battered, smoothed, and reshaped by tides that ebb and flow in a steady rhythm unrelenting. Ups and downs, feast and famine, joy and despair all rise and fall from dawn to dusk.
Nothing is constant
If there was ever a Bible character who knew this well, it would be David. Did he ever just wake up to normalcy… ever? His days were completely unpredictable and not one of them a mirror of the last. Like when he would sit at the royal table to enjoy his dinner, only to be caught off guard in a game of ‘Dodge the Javelin’. Or when he was forced to master a game called ‘Wilderness Hide and Go Seek’, ducking and rolling from cave to cave to survive his prowling enemy. Or the time when, on the heels of great victory, David’s worshipful dancing in the streets was stifled soundly by the verbal assault of his wife’s disapproval.
…And the days just kept coming.
I wonder if David ever beseeched the Lord for just one uneventful, predictable day, like the ones of his youth. Did he ever find himself longing for those lazy days spent by calm streams when he was a shepherd? Or the nights he would stretch out over the gate of the sheepfold, plucking out worship songs on his harp while his flock bedded down in sleep, singing words like…
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory above the heavens.”
On the run again in the wilderness, David rolled on his back to gaze at the canopy of familiar stars spread above him and wondered what he could truly count on. What could he grasp as his own that could never be plucked from his hand, be stolen from his back pocket, or would fade away with time? Taking up his pen and parchment,
David pondered this question in Psalm 16:
What is constant?
In the Old Testament, the Lord allotted portions for the Promised Land inheritances by drawing boundary lines. Each portion was then given to each tribe and each family that belonged to that tribe. With that in mind, what was the answer to David’s question?
David took a quick inventory of his earthly positions and possessions, and then wadded up the list and threw it out. Not one was worth mentioning. All was disregarded. All… except one thing.
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.
You hold my lot.”
The Lord is our allotted portion. Our portion is not measured by the variables of what the Lord gives and takes away, or what the Lord chooses to bless us with or withhold, but it is He Himself that is our great reward. And that portion can never, ever be tainted, or stolen, or lost. It is our iron-clad surety. Peter told us in his first letter to the saints that our eternal inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, and is kept safe by the Lord so no robber may prevail.
Jesus is our inheritance.
Heaven is our true home.
And our heritage is good.
David, with grateful tears, recorded this in the next verse:
“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.
Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance”
Indeed, it is beautiful! With a heart realigned and anchored deep in his unshakable future, David reminded his soul of other truths that applied to the daily grind of life. Let’s listen in:
You are my Lord!
I have no good apart from You.
Because You are at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
My flesh also dwells secure.
For You will not abandon my soul!
Over the course of our sojourning, while our feet travel this earthen soil, crowns will come and go, position may be achieved and forfeited, finances will swell and deplete, ministries will start and stop, children may be both friend and foe, and the house will be clean! And then… well, not. Throughout the inconsistencies of life, we can hold fast to what is constant.
Jesus whispers to His Bride, His most treasured possession: Take heart and take hope, heaven is on the way. I am yours to keep. And nothing can change that!
Not a thing on earth is invariable.
But God… He is our constant!
In Him… our future is secure.
He is our Beautiful Portion!
(Psalm 16, Psalm 8, 1 Peter 1:4-5, Joshua 14-19)