My lot, my assigned portion, my cup to drink – this is what I’ve been led to consider lately in breathing by grace.
Knowing that the portion of life I’m given is a gift and measured out by God’s love-shaped, eternal wisdom quiets me. I’m finding truth in Elizabeth Elliot’s words: “Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good. As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled. Decisions become easier, directions clearer, and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.”
And yet I know I could be more at peace than I am. I know today once again my spirit might be aroused to mount a defense of myself to justify my existence and my worth before others. I know that I could very easily sin in this, allowing my anger to become my Director and my words to become my sword.
But for Jesus…
The ancient scriptures predicted that Jesus Christ would be like a lamb led to slaughter and a sheep standing dumb before the shearer (Isaiah 53:7). As one of his closest disciples testified, when Jesus was reviled, he didn’t revile in return. While suffering he uttered no threats, but instead entrusted himself to the Righteous Judge of all the earth, God himself. (1 Peter 2:23-25)
Oh, to be more like Jesus – but it’s so hard! This is a world where courage is often measured by how well one speaks up for oneself and demands respect. This is a world that never once has been totally and completely fair with me. Has it with anyone?
Charles H. Spurgeon noticed that “Jesus had never been slow of speech when He could bless the sons of men, but He would not say a single word for Himself.” In saying no man was ever silent like Jesus, he asked, “Was this singular silence the index of His perfect self-sacrifice?” Yes was the answer in Spurgeon following words: “Patient silence is the best reply to a world of cruel opposition. Calm endurance answers some questions infinitely more conclusively than the loftiest eloquence… The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows… The ambiguous and the false, the unworthy and mean will soon enough confound themselves and therefore the true can afford to be quiet and find silence to be its wisdom.”
Oh, to be more like Jesus and truly quiet in heart.
The 1984 NIV of Psalm 16:5 reads, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, and have made my lot secure.” If that translation were accurate, it would be enough for a quiet heart. But revisions of Psalm 16 since 1984 have deepened the spiritual power to be found in those words. Now, the NIV reads, “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.” This is far more fitting for what follows in verses 6-8, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
The Psalmist’s testimony is mine and so my prayer today is “Jesus, you are my portion and my cup. My lot in life is secure only and always because you’re here with me in everything that happens. The interruptions and course corrections are no surprise to you. I can be quiet, Gracious Master, because of you.”
“In repentance and rest, you shall be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
– David Ewert
 Keep a Quiet Heart (Ann Arbor: Servant Publications, ©1998 Elizabeth Elliot), p. 18