Monday, November 12, 2012
Today’s Topic: “No Nuts In It”
Today’s Text: Psalm 119:57 (ESV) The LORD is my portion…
My youngest grandson has a severe peanut allergy. It’s literally off the charts according to the doctor, over five times the average peanut allergy ratings. So, at two-years old, he’s already learning to ask an important question about every food he is offered. As he extends his hand he says, “No nuts in it?”
Yesterday as we watched football together, he stood in front of me as I munched from a bag of cheddar popcorn. He stood in front of me, leaning on my knee, and asked, “No nuts in it?” I said, “No nuts in it!” and gave him one kernel of cheesy popcorn to eat. He loved it, and stood in front of me asking for one piece after another, and each time he asked “No nuts in it?” After several minutes his question turned into a statement. No longer was he wondering if the popcorn was safe, but he was declaring that it was safe. He would proclaim, “No nuts in it!!!” followed by chewing and continued hand extending for more, repeated countless times for as long as it was available.
I couldn’t help but think of that event this morning when I rose for devotions and read the next section of the 119th Psalm. I didn’t get beyond the first phrase – The LORD is my portion. I thought about the spiritual implications of my interaction with Crosby.
First, he knew what was good and bad for him. Even though he may not understand it completely, he is accepting the reality that there are some things that are very bad for him and other things that are acceptable. He doesn’t argue about the things that are bad, because he’s already experienced the consequences of eating them. He doesn’t let the desire for immediate gratification overwhelm the wisdom of seeing the long-term outcome. (I know, he’s only two, but come on, he’s my grandson. Of course he thinks this way.) Even if he doesn’t understand what I just said, as a child he is teaching me to become more like a child with simple faith. Life can be boiled down to simple choices between black and white. It is only in our corrupted adult human nature that we have invented the varying shades of gray that we use to justify the desires of the flesh.
Second, he trusted the Provider to give him only what was good. WOW! His hand is extended before he asks the question about nuts. He trusts the one giving him the food today because his providers know what is good or bad. They are teaching him to ask the question for the times when someone else – like me – become his provider. The LORD is my provider. He knows what is good and bad. I can trust completely what He is giving me. I have learned to ask about its goodness so that I develop the discipline of seeking only good in all aspects of my life. But God is my Ever-Present Provider even when other options become available. He alone knows what is good and gives what is good. He alone is the Giver of every good and perfect gift. (James 1:17).
Finally, at least for this devotional, my grandson trusted the portion that I would give him. One kernel at a time, and only long enough to satisfy but not make sick. When I closed the bag and said, “All done. That’s enough for now,” he didn’t argue, fight, complain, or cry. He accepted the portion as sufficient for the moment. The LORD is my portion. He is all I need for every moment. He gives me sufficient grace for each day. Not extra grace for tomorrow, but only what is needed for today. And what He gives me is all I need at that moment. Crosby didn’t ask for chips to go with the popcorn, he simply stood in front of me and enjoyed the popcorn that was being delivered. He enjoyed the goodness of what he had, rather than wishing there was something more.
Oh LORD Jesus, give me that kind of faith and contentment. You alone are my portion. I trust you, and am satisfied by you!