Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
Oh, but I do want! I want sparkling, riveting words to appear on the computer screen as my fingers press the keys. I want to approach "parent-teacher conferences" with smug confidence rather than fearful apprehension. I want more time to be available to me each day. I want "good hair" days.
Yet, according to the Living Bible, because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need. The talent, family, time, and even those numbered – albeit unruly – hairs on my head have been given to me in just the right measure as long as I follow the direction and priorities of my Shepherd. Why is it so difficult to trust the truth of this much quoted verse?
It's humbling but helpful to imagine myself as an actual sheep, and to think of the Twenty-third Psalm as told from the point of view of that grateful creature. Sheep lack a natural sense of direction, even in the familiar environment of their own territory. They are defenceless, skittish, rather stupid animals, unable even to clean themselves. Without a shepherd to lead and care for them, the sheep would surely die. From Ezekiel's prophecies we learn of God's promise to lead and care for these needy ones: "'I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down', declares the Sovereign Lord. 'I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong (shepherds) I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.'" (Ezekiel 34:15-16)
Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have been given life, an abundant life.
Prayer: Shepherd me, O Lord, beyond my wants, beyond my fears. Truly, I lack for nothing when I follow You. Amen.