by Tim Howington
Give Me My Portion
God is great, beer is good and people are crazy. This is the chorus to one of my favorite country songs. The story line of the song is about two guys who meet in a bar and hit it off and talk into the wee hours of the morning about all kinds of things especially how to navigate life. Turns out that one of the guys is a millionaire who ends up cutting his kids out of his will and leaving his fortune to this guy he barely knew. The song goes on to say, “His kids were mad as hell, but me… I’m doing well. God is great beer is good and people are crazy.”
When it comes to inheritances people are indeed crazy. So many families are torn to shreds based on how they respond to the loss of a loved one. In our business of helping families with their finances, we engage with people in their estate planning. Without a good estate plan many a parent has sent their household into a pretty predictable outcome of chaos as the children fight over the stuff. A good will and trust plan helps to define what each child should expect as their portion of the estate.
Have you ever wondered what your portion is as a child of God? What should we expect from our Father? This is especially relevant when we are going through difficult financial times. More than maybe any other time we are face to face with our limitations and even proud men begin to pray. I love the scene in It’s a Wonderful Life where George Bailey is at his wits end and as a last resort decides to pray. George is not a particular religious man but even he realizes that God is our ultimate provider. His story is one that repeats itself over and over throughout history. Man gets to the end of his rope because of finances and then turns to the Lord trying to negotiate the Ultimate Expectation Exchange: God what is my portion in the life?
Gold is my Portion
Two things I asked of Thee, Do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion, Lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God. Proverbs 30:7-9
I love this proverb of Agur. I am not sure who Agur is but the insight is much appreciated. He seems to indicate that each of us has a portion. Jesus calls this daily bread. Agur establishes a framework that I use on a regular basis to guide my expectation. Like Goldilocks with the three bears I want something that is not too hot, not too cold, but just right. In the world of finances we should desire neither riches nor poverty, but that which is our portion.
Many a man has allowed his lust for more drive him away from God. In the same vein of thought many a man has allowed the desperate plight of poverty to drive him away from God. The road of balance travels through the idea that God has apportioned to us a share in this life that will sustain us and we can trust Him for that portion. You don’t have to look very far to realize that our life experiences are very different and that the portion that God has allotted us is different. The slum dweller in Mumbai has a different life than the New York banker. But God is the sustainer of both. As we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness He will add to us that which we need.
God is my Portion
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; Thou dost support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalms 16: 5-6
Have you ever considered that part of your inheritance is God Himself? More precious than any possession passed down to us from a parent is the tangible presence of God as our core inheritance. He is our portion. The psalmist rightly understands that this inheritance has made him a lucky man. He says “the lines (boundary lines) have fallen to him in pleasant places.” (Meaning that he likes his inheritance). Sometimes we need to focus on this truth during our crisis point. We may not have much but we do have God. And that is a good thing. But, is it good enough for us? Is He enough for us?
Glory is my Portion
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:16 -17
Do you realize that because of our sonship (daughtership) we are fellow heirs with Christ? I have to admit that I am not sure exactly what that means, but someday we will share in His glory. We will someday experience the final result of our salvation: glorification. Our bodies will be resurrected to wholeness. Our spirits will be absent from sin. And we will be in fellowship with our God face to face. We will taste of His presence and His glory.
On that day, the lack of resources we experienced here from time to time will pale in comparison with the glory we are participating in. In fact my speculation is that on that day we will appreciate the lack of resources that drove us to Him.
The lack of resources that revealed that we are so vulnerable and needy.
The lack of resources that forced us to manage our minds.
The lack of resources that forced us to manage our wills.
The lack of resources that forced us to manage our emotions.
The lack of resources that forced us to think through the idea of wondering whether God was willing and able to take care of us.
The lack of resources that forced us to think through the idea of what can I expect from my heavenly Father as my portion.
On that day we will be thankful for this blessing from the hand of God, that is, limited resources that cause us to ponder one of the biggest truths of our lives. Can I trust God?