Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Oh, the Psalms...how I find so much of what I need for any given situation or circumstance in my life. There are praises to lift to God in times of joy and abundance. There are lamentations to cry out during times of trial and valleys of darkness. There are truths to rest upon and hope to cling to when doubt surfaces in my all too human heart.
Lately, I've been finding myself stuck in this glorious book, written mostly by David (the adulterer and murderer who was "after God's own heart," in case anyone is keeping tabs). Despite the richness of the entire Bible, my heart gets pulled into the Psalms and I want to meditate on the same verses that have provided water for my thirsty soul.
It is the verse above that has been my spiritual song, the cry of my heart over the past few weeks. I keep dissecting every word, soaking in each line. The first is a refocus of my perspective, reminding me that there is none (and nothing) I should desire here on earth apart from Christ. How often (as in daily, hourly, and so on) I desire things on earth outside of Christ. How often it can be disguised as something good, but at the root, my heart has shifted away from the Beloved. It has sought my glory, my comfort, justification, vindication, attention, affirmation...it has turned away from the giver in search of the gifts.
However, it is in the next line that a beautiful promise is uncovered: "though my heart and flesh may fail, the Lord is my strength and my portion forever." Though my heart and flesh may fail...it's a given. He already knows. I am human. I will fail. My flesh will take over. The desires of my heart will shift outside of God's will and purpose. I'm not strong enough, but the Lord is my strength. He is my portion. He is waiting with open arms for the prodigal to return. Despite all the ways I fail Him: in my failure to extend grace, in my failure to love well, in my failure to hold my tongue, in my failure to submit myself to sanctification and, well...just in my depraved humanity, He is still there.
He is not weak and He is not lacking. He is my portion. If this is so, why should I desire anything else on earth? Why do I need to be "right?" Why do I need to complicate things? Why do I need to seek that which does not satisfy (Psalm 16:11)? Simple answer: because my heart and flesh fail. Nevertheless, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. As my dear Elisa put it, He is both the light and the way. May I desire no one besides Him.