But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.”  [Lamentations 3:21-24 (ESV)]

zebra longwing“The Lord is my portion,” wrote the prophet Jeremiah. Throughout the Bible, a wide variety of metaphors are used to describe God— rock, refuge, shield, shepherd, fortress, potter, and light—but portion is one of my favorites. Portion refers to one’s share—be it of plunder, an inheritance, or food. Not being a soldier, I can’t relate to the spoils of war and I’ve seen way too many inheritances argued over or squandered to associate those meanings with God. Food, however, is something to which we all can relate.

Indeed, God is our portion—our nourishment—He is what fills and fuels us. As our portion, He’s not one of those amuse-bouche one-bite treats served in fancy restaurants to whet our appetites nor is He a snack to tide us over until the real meal arrives. He’s not a first course like soup or salad, not a side dish to accompany the main course, and He’s most definitely not that decorative garnish so often left behind on our plates. God certainly isn’t our dessert, enjoyed only if we’ve saved room and which, while looking delicious, rarely lives up to its promise. He’s not even our entrée—the roast beast or tofu of our lives. No, God is our entire portion—our soup to nuts—our all. He’s our breakfast, lunch and dinner rolled into one. He is what gives us sustenance and strength. He is our all-sufficient, our confidence, our comfort and hope. Moreover, unlike earthly portions that disappear as they are consumed and leave us hungry again a few hours later, God keeps our plates filled to the brim and will satisfy our souls forever. He continually replenishes us with His mercy, guidance, love, and forgiveness.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. [Psalm 16:5 (ESV)] 

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 73:25-26 (ESV)]

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