I Shall Not Want

February 19, 1998

Psalm 23:1 – The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

A number of years ago when I was a pastor in Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada, we were travelling back to visit family in southern Alberta, two provinces west. Our daughters, now in their twenties, were very young, and a long car trip was taken only after much preparation and making sure we had enough to keep them amused and busy in the back seat of the car.

Toward the end of the drive, the two were quietly seated in the back, colouring in the books their mother had purchased. After an uncharacteristically long silence, the peace and quiet was broken over a squabble concerning a particular crayon. The eldest had it and the youngest wanted it.

After all attempts at persuading her older sister to part with it, Heather announced firmly, "I want it!"

Christine in her best and sweetest elder-sisterly voice thought she had it settled when she reminded Heather, "Now Heather, remember what the Bible says…"

"What?" came the young one's question.

"The Bible says, 'I shall not want'". She thought that had ended it then and there.

A few moments of silence went by, then came the younger's response: "We don't go to that church."

"What church, Heather?" asked Christine.

"Don't go to that church says 'not want'!"

I managed to keep the car on the highway while the girls' mother nearly split her sides in laughter. To this day I don't remember who got the crayon but I wouldn't bet it wasn't the younger.

The psalmist says in another translation, "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need". True, but that doesn't always quell my wanting.

Prayer: Dear Lord, let our wants fit our needs, as we know you are the God of all our needs, but it is another who compels our lusts. Amen.

About the author:

Harold McNabb
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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