The Lord, My Chosen Portion
Sherry Kendrick, Guest Writer
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot (Psalm 16:4-5).
In suffering, there is a choosing. You choose whether the Lord will be your portion and cup or if you will run after another god, another idol. There are multitudes of idols we can run after when we are scared, hurting, and suffering. Yet David says in this Psalm, “the Lord is my chosen portion and cup.” He chooses to trust and worship God rather than run after the idols of his day. God sovereignly works in our hearts, by His Holy Spirit, bringing us to a saving knowledge of Him. In our daily walk, our sanctification, we participate in that process by obedience. There is a choosing to trust and obey. There is a choosing to see our journey as His good for us. There is a choosing to lean into His Word as a means of grace in times of trouble. In our suffering, there is a choice to worship or to make our hearts hard toward Him. In our grieving, there is a choosing to weep and rejoice, to mourn and to be thankful, or to turn our hearts away from Him. Can you say with David, “the Lord is my portion and my cup?” Mike modeled this as He suffered. In the five years from diagnosis to death, in front of his church and his family, Mike modeled worship, reading the Word, sharing the gospel, praying, and serving others. During the treatment phase of Mike’s cancer, he adjusted his schedule and duties to keep serving the church around the treatment. However, in the last year of his life, there was a definite decline in his health. He needed oxygen to walk and move around. We kept an oxygen tank in his office and a concentrator at home. We bought a portable oxygen concentrator so he could go on visits to the hospital. He even preached one Sunday evening wearing the oxygen. Mike was not able to keep up with his duties at church as well as he had been. Others were coming around him to do what he physically could not do anymore. He did not want to be a burden on the church. Just a few weeks before Mike died, we had lunch with a trusted pastoral couple, not on staff at our church. Mike asked this pastor friend how he would know when to “stop” in his pastoral call. Our pastor friend asked him if the pastoral staff or session had made any indication that they wanted him to withdraw from ministry. Mike said, “No, in fact, they keep making it so I can continue.” This wise friend looked at Mike warmly and said, “That is your answer– your ministry, your ‘job’ is to suffer and die before this watching congregation, trusting the Lord. You are modeling biblical suffering and death.” Mike followed his advice and just a few months later the Lord took him home. It was a beautiful picture of how a church loves its pastor and a pastor loves his church. I am thankful to our church leadership for modeling that ministry is more than a job. I am thankful to Mike that even on the days he struggled, he continued to trust and obey, choosing the Lord as his portion in the midst of real emotions and suffering.
Father, You are my chosen portion and my cup. Help me to choose You when I am weak. Help me to choose You when I am hurting. Help me to choose You when I am scared. Remind me that running after other things won’t, in the end, satisfy or provide what I need. Only You can do that. Remind me that trusting You preserves me in Your care. Amen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sherry Kendrick has a degree in elementary education from East Tennessee State University and over 30 years of experience in Christian education, children’s ministry, and public-school elementary education. She loves children’s curriculums and tends to collect them. Sherry has lived in Naples, Florida for 32 years and currently serves as the Children’s Director of Covenant Church of Naples. Sherry was married to Mike Kendrick, a PCA pastor for 36 years. She has been a widow since February 2018. She is blessed with 3 grown children and one grandchild.
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Originally published Wednesday, 18 May 2022.