“LORD, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future.” Psalm 16:5
Yesterday I attended the celebration of life of a man who I only had personally met a handful of times but felt I knew through his beloved wife. Laughter and tears walked a delicate tightrope amongst the attendees. Funny stories intermingled with testimonies of a man who was dearly loved by all and whose character and humility we would do well to emulate.
Two different pastors spoke about the man we had gathered to simultaneously mourn and celebrate. What a legacy this gentle soul left behind, yet all the while his life pointed others to look up. His faith and his family were the jewels in his crown and his reason for living. There’s just something about funerals, memorial services, and celebrations of life. They make me want to slow down, to truly embrace the moments of right now. Yet, at the same time, my thoughts inevitably drift to the question: “What do I want my legacy to be?”
I will never be famous and impact or influence the millions with any favorable skills or talents. My “glory days,” so to speak, are behind me. With the Olympics in full swing, contemplating my legacy is timely. Watching these athletes compete and achieve what they have trained to do for the majority of their lives is awe-inspiring. I will never be an Olympic gold medalist, or silver or bronze. I let go of those dreams when I was about 12 years old, give or take a year or two. But I can still leave a legacy. The question is, “What do I want it to be?”
We all seem to so badly want to leave our mark here on this planet, to live in such a way that people remember we were here and that we existed. What if, instead of making it about ourselves, we began to ask the question, “What is the legacy Jesus wants to leave through me?” It’s a drastic mindset shift. But oh how powerfully and selflessly we would begin to live if we did so. At the end of my days, I want people to remember me first and foremost as a woman who loved Jesus with all of her being, even though I never fully got it quite right. I want my life to be lived in such a way that people were able to see Jesus and desire Him.
However, that’s not going to just miraculously happen when I have gone to be with Jesus in my eternal home. Intentional living right now is the key to achieving the legacy Jesus wants to leave through me. The psalmist, David, says in Psalm 16:5, “LORD, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future.” Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with the legacy we leave behind. Everything!
David knew three things that, when applied to how we live, would alter the legacies we leave behind us. David knew that 1) the Lord was his portion, meaning that He was certain that the Lord was his inheritance and his allotment. David believed that when God was his portion, he didn’t need anything else. David understood that his inheritance was not tangible in the earthly realm. His inheritance was found in the person of Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus is our inheritance, too, if we have trusted Him as Lord and Savior. The only inheritance that matters is not a what but rather a Who. What would it look like for you today to begin living with the awareness that the Lord is your portion and your inheritance? Would it alter how you live in the moment?
David also knew that 2) the Lord was his cup of blessing. What we live for is often determined by what we think will satisfy us. So many of run around with our cups either half empty or half full, depending on your perspective, and we are constantly trying to fill them up with things we mistakenly think will satisfy us. For some people, it is holding out your cup and asking for someone else to fill it, whether a spouse, a child, a romantic relationship, or a friendship. Friend, no one else can fill the cup that only Jesus Himself was meant to fill.
For others, you are looking to fill your cup with popularity, success, recognition, achievement, or social media likes. And for others, you’re attempting to stuff you cup full of things like money, houses, fancy cars, vacation homes, or any other form of materialist things. Yet none of those ultimately will provide satisfaction and true fulfillment.
When all is said and done, only Jesus can perfectly fill up our cups. We waste time and energy frantically trying to fill up a cup while Jesus is patiently waiting for us to offer our cups to Him. And, when we do, it is a cup of blessing. He is the blessing. What if today we allowed Him to fill up our cups and we let other people off the hook? How would that look for you?
Finally, David knew that 3) the Lord held his future. In some ways, this one may pose the toughest challenge for all of us. We want to have control, especially over how things will turn out. But we have no control. We cannot control our tomorrows or what will happen in them. David knew that his eternal future was secure with the Lord. That certainty was all he needed. His eternity was found in Christ. The Lord also holds our futures. If you are His child, then your eternity is secure in Him and nothing that could ever happen here on earth can take that away from you.
It’s an upside-down way of living because it’s not about us. A legacy is created in the everyday moments of life. Dale, that humble gentleman whose service I attended, knew this. He wanted his life to point people to Jesus even after he went to be with him. And it did. He was described as a generous man and as a kind man who would do anything for anyone. Only a man who was certain that the Lord was his portion, that the Lord was his cup of blessing, and that the Lord held his future would be able to do that.
I pray today that as you contemplate what legacy you are creating, that you allow Jesus to be your portion, to fill your cup, and to hold your future.