When Our Hearts and Our Flesh Fail; The Secret to a Successful Life

In week one of Bible study, we talked about suffering. Unfortunately, we will all suffer. This week Psalm 73:25-26 leapt out at me in my personal suffering, and put another dimension on the topic. My roommate from college, Donna, sent these verses ito me in a text because my mother–my energetic, vibrant, determined, stubborn, always on the go, Independent  outgoing, godly mother–passed away. Very unexpectedly and very suddenly. Tomorrow will be one week. When my oldest sister called me to tell me someone had died, my mom was not on my radar. She radiated life, not death. And I could not describe how I felt until I read this passage. Psalm 73:25-26

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength[b] of my heart and my portion forever.

I read these verses when I was throwing up. A stomach bug attacked our house (myself, my two sons, daughter-in-law, and two granddaughters) this week. I was its Wednesday victim–the day my mother’s physical body ceased to exist. She was cremated that day. I literally came unglued while throwing up. My flesh and my heart both failed me.

These verses spoke to my condition because God was telling me, that stomach bug aside, my ability to cope with the week’s events was nonexistent.

My cousin, Kim, the pastor who spoke at Mom’s memorial told the family that humans don’t have death in their DNA. God created us for life, not death, he said, It was sin that brought death into our world, and so death is unnatural to us. It is not something we actually know how to handle. But God does. He is our coping mechanism when we have none, and so far as death goes, we have none.

My mother knew this. I watched this past week as the dichotomy of Mom’s life played out. A woman whose resources were so few, lived a life that was so full. Her bank account and her life did not match. Her assets were people, her joy was the Lord. The receiving line at her memorial overflowed with those she had involved herself with. When I view my mother’s life, it literally makes no sense from a worldly perspective. My Coastie son spoke at her funeral, and said, “Maurme (the grandchildren’s name for her) lived life like she drove, about a 100 miles an hour.” Meaning, she lived it to the fullest. How is this possible for a person in her situation? At 77 years of age, she still worked to provide an income for herself.

The Lord was the strength of her heart and her portion forever. 

She let God worry about the things she had no control over. And, let’s face it, other than making up our beds (which Mom always did, and did it HER way), there’s not much we do have control over. Her life was a puzzlement outside of God. She was happy, joyful, cheerful, had a ton of friends, and in her words, few worries. What was the secret to her success?

The Lord was the strength of her heart and her portion forever.

This week’s lesson only has one question because it is the question I have pondered all week, and perhaps you need to ponder it too.

If the Lord is my strength and my portion, why do I wait to live? 

Please feel free to leave comments below. I am always blessed by them.

Father, gracious and precious to us, be our strength and our portion. Teach us to live fully, not waiting until everything is just right or ready, but to live in the present moment with you. May we take our hands off the reigns, stop trying to control every aspect of life, stop trying to achieve, and just receive. In Jesus strong name, Amen.. 




4 thoughts on “When Our Hearts and Our Flesh Fail; The Secret to a Successful Life

  1. How I needed to hear those words from your perspective! I am so consumed with my fallen flesh and my fallen heart that I am not allowing Him to be my strength and portion so that I can truly live.

    • Donna, that is exactly how I felt. Mom was so full of life and I spend all my emotional energy on my heart and my flesh. She spent her’s on everyone else, just like your mother did. I aim to be so much more like her.

  2. I think not waiting has to do with being content. It has taken me a long time to realize the full meaning of Philippians 4:11 – “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” “Learning to be content” is learning where to put my trust every day. If I put my trust in The Lord daily and am content no matter the circumstances, I have no reason to wait. I know your mom knew where to put her trust. What a model she was for us!

    • Susan, that last part–content no matter the circumstances–is huge. And, I like what you say about learning where to put my trust everyday. That’s a great definition of contentment. Now to “learn” it.

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