I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.
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: 23-26
If you’ve not memorized these verses, please do. The words, written by a follower of the Lord thousands of years ago, and yet able to match and name the desire of my own heart in the 21st century, bubble up within me many days. How good it is to have scripture to speak back to God!
When persecuted or lonely, coveting or confused, we’re given the words of Psalm 73. They soothe and fortify. They assure, as a hope-reminding balm, spread over the wound of a day’s brokenness.
And I find when I’m whispering these words, I often whisper them in reverse order. I begin with “Whom have I in heaven but You? Father, there is nothing on earth I desire more than You.” Why is that? “Because You hold my right hand; You guide me; You keep me continually with You. And then, on top of all that, You will bring me to glory!”
Ah. And so. And so, these fortifying, and subsequently heart-reconfigured words can bubble up from my comforted spirit:
My flesh and my heart may fail, but You are my strength and my portion forever!
To You I turn. Set beside and compared with You, all others falter, fall short, fail. There is none other.
And when I turn, You are continually there. You hold me. You care for me. And because You care, You guide me through whatever I’m unsure about. Yes, I remember now: All else may, actually will fail, but You will not. Forever and ever, You are the strength of my heart.
Forever and ever therefore, beginning this moment O God, please multiply within me a desire for You above all other earthly benefits. Console and encourage me as joy flows from the realization that I’m able to rest in confident relationship with You. For truly:
Whom have I in heaven but You?