Psalm 23 is well know amongst Christian circles. It is on plaques, shirts, wallpaper, toilet paper, etc. It is an incredibly well know Psalm. Our familiarity to something can often numb us of its impact. I wanted to spend a few posts going over this Psalm, and how my reading of it has reinvigorated my appreciation for the truth and comfort found inside of it.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” – Psalm 23:1. We have a good shepherd. God is one who actively cares about what is going on in our lives. He is our provider. We can depend on Him for all that we need. Sheep need a shepherd. They are hopeless without a guide and protector. We need to be cared for. We were creatures made to depend on our creator.
God is not just any ordinary shepherd. He was the best in the business. David tells us that the Lord is our shepherd. We shall not want. This phrase hit me so hard a few weeks ago. In God’s hands I shall not want. I have everything I need when I am dependent on God. God is bigger than any of our petty concerns. He grasps what we need, when we need it, and how we need it. He is everything. In this we can know that God will always be glorified. God loves us so much that he cares about our needs. he is powerful enough to meet those needs.
I’ve been hunting for work for a little while now. The stress could easily get to me at times if I let it. It’s intimidating needing to depend on God to the extent I do in these kinds of moments of life. There is also an immense sense of freedom in it. The other day I had an interview for a job. I knew the prayer I was supposed to have was, “Whatever is your will”. Naturally my pull was to pray for my definition of success in this moment. Success would mean getting the job.
I left that day with a vastly different prayer from either of those. As I was sitting in the waiting area for my interview to start I met a woman who was also interviewing for the position. She was a kind lady who had just graduated from the same school I did. She was married like me. She had been looking for work to meet the needs she had. She was a good person. I suspect she and her husband had been praying much like me and my wife had over this job interview. That’s when it hit me. Someone aiming for this job will get the answered prayer they hope for. Others will not. A yes to one person prayer often means a no to someone else.
However, David tells us that God is our shepherd and we shall not want. God is so big that he is capable of processing the prayers and genuine needs of others in order to know what will fit exactly right for each individual. You see, my struggle with prayer up to that point was born out of a selfish desire. I wanted God to meet my definition of success even if it was not the best fit for me. Even if He may have known that there was something better for me while this position was really better suited to meet the needs of another. I entered that interview with a drastically different prayer than any I had expected. I simply prayed that God would be glorified.
Why should I pray for that? I have been promised for my needs to be met. I have been told God loves and cares for me. I have been promised that He will see me through to the end. Why not then pray that no matter what God can use my life to show the world these truths? The Lord is my shepherd friends. I may be poor, but I shall not want. I may be tired, but I shall not want. I may be lost, but I shall not want. I may be fearful, but I shall not want. My shepherd is the one who provides.