“You get to decide how we are going to cut the cookie” I can remember my mom saying to my older brother. Thinking that he was obviously going to get the larger half, he pointed to the far side of the cookie, making it cookie ratio of 80:20. My mom then looked at me and said, “Now you get to choose which half you want.” I’m sure you can imagine the look of shock, disgust, and frustration that passed over my brother’s face as I reached for the larger half.Can you relate? Have you ever received a portion of something that you felt was unfair? We are a people who look at the world in portions. You have a portion of land that you farm, you get a portion of your paycheck taken out for Uncle Sam, you can only see a portion of the sky, and when you talk to someone, you’re only getting a portion of their heart. But how often do we want the whole portion? Especially when it comes to desserts… let’s be real, you don’t really want a portion of that piece of cheesecake, you want the whole piece!
Psalm 16, in the NRSV translation, reads in verse 5, “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup, you hold my lot.” If we took the Hebrew, this verse would actually read, “The Lord is the portion of my portion, my cup. You hold my portion.” Continuing on in verse 6 the Hebrew is, “The measured portions (lots) have fallen to me in pleasant places. My portion is pleasing according to me.”
That’s a lot of portion! And how confusing, the Lord is the portion of my portion? How often do we see the portion we have been given as beautiful, delightful, sweet? When it comes to portions, we want more. We could always use more money, more food, more land, more time—our portions sometimes run wide and thin. But the Lord, the Lord is the portion of my portion, my cup, the one who holds my portion.
I sometimes get frustrated about my own portions—the portions that I offer people, the portions those around me get at any given time. I am often fragmented and frazzled, giving people only a portion of my portion. As much as I desire to, I cannot give to others the whole portion of my being, and the portion that I do give is not always beautiful or pleasant. But Psalm 16 leads us to remember that God is our portion—how beautiful this portion is that we receive—it is the portion that nourishes, the portion that sustains, the portion that guides, and the portion that empowers us to deeply lean into God when our portions are seemingly running low.
The portions we receive may not always feel fair, the portions we give may not always be pleasant, but the portion we have, our portion that God holds, is beautiful and pleasant— rest in the space of knowing when we feel as if we do not have enough, when we feel our portions are running low, that the Lord is the portion of our portion.
How beautiful and pleasant it is to know that God holds our portion at all times. Draw from his portion often.