All I Really Want in Life

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life."

Psalm 142:5

I grew up in a family of four children. My brother, sisters, and I got along fairly well, though we had our moments of conflict. One of these was at the dinner table. If my mother had cooked some particularly tasty dish, like a chocolate cake, then we might fight over who got the biggest piece. We didn't just want a fair portion. To be fully honest, each of us wanted an ample portion, all that we needed and much more.

Psalm 142 uses the language of portions to convey ampleness of God. God is not just enough, but more than enough. The NLT translates the last line of Psalm 142:5 as "You are all I really want in life." This captures the sense of the original language, which reads more literally, "you are my portion [cheleq] in the land of the living."

This language is reminiscent of the Lord's instructions to Aaron, the first high priest, as the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land: "You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion [cheleq] among them. I am your portion [cheleq] and your inheritance among the people of Israel." The priests would not actually own property in the land, but would receive all they needed through their ministry in the temple (Deut. 18:1-2).

When we face seemingly insurmountable difficulties, we pour out our hearts to God, asking for his help. At first, what we seek is deliverance. We want what God can provide for us. But, as we continue to open our hearts to the Lord, we realize that what we want most of all is God. We don't really need a "portion" in this life. Rather, we need God who supplies all our needs and who fulfills all of our desires. From him we receive more than enough, just as the priests in the temple had ample food because they were entitled to eat their portions of the sacrifices.

God has filled this life with good things and good purposes, and we rightly delight in them and desire them. But we will be able to use and enjoy God's good gifts when our hearts seek him most of all.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever experienced a situation in which you were desperate for God's help, but came to realize that what you needed most of all was God himself? What helps you to desire the Lord?

PRAYER: O Lord, I can think of many times in my life when, in my distress, I cried out to you for help. Yet, as I opened my heart to you, I realized that what I really wanted wasn't your help, but you! Yes, I still wanted your help. But fellowship with you, resting in you, abiding in your love . . . these satisfy me most of all.

To be sure, you have created this world with many good things for me to use for your purposes and to enjoy. For these I thank you. Yet, I am free to delight in this world when I delight in you first and foremost. Focusing on you, everything else finds its rightful place.

Help me, dear Lord, to live this day in fellowship with you. Help me to be attentive to your presence. Make yourself known to me, so that I might live for you more fully.

I pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.