When I want to occupy my mind with comforting thoughts, Psalm 23 is one of my go-to’s. I’ve been there often lately as the world seems to be careening into chaos.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”
“I shall not want…” What DO I want? This time of pandemic and now pandemonium has pretty much exploded what I thought I needed. What I expected. What I wanted.
Up to about March 14th, I was hoping for –
- a successful Women’s Weekend Away – canceled
- spring clothes – no way to get them and nowhere to wear them
- meaningful church events and celebrations – the calendar wiped out
- a welcomingly decorated home for happy gatherings on St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Spring, Mother’s and Father’s Days, Memorial Day, Summer
- loving times with family – too scary to get together
- unity in the country as we fight this plague – division everywhere over everything
You get the idea. I’m sure you had an unconscious list also. Or maybe you had definite plans – trips, a concert, ballgames, graduations, weddings, birthdays, minor surgeries, a dinner date! We all assumed good health and the next day of work.
One day about a month into this, I asked myself the question – What AM I living for?
In our common experience, it only took a nanosecond for everything to be stripped away. If everything is gone, is it still true – “I shall not want”?
When a shepherd is holding a lamb in his arms, that is all the lamb needs. The shepherd will provide, so the sheep has no cares. Whether we are lost, or hopeless or anxious or lonely or confused, the Good Shepherd can hold us. He knows each need and each solution.
We can turn it around and say- “I have everything I need because the Lord is my Shepherd.” He is all we need. This is a time when we can experience that more deeply than ever.
Yesterday morning, the day we were regathering in the building for the first time, I read Psalm 28 and my heart jumped at the confirmation that Jesus has us securely in His arms.
“The Lord is the strength of his people;
He is the saving refuge of his anointed.
Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!
Be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:8,9
At the service, Sarah Griffin sang THIS hymn. If you can take a few minutes to listen (ignore ads!), and meditate on the Scriptures. Give your burden to the One who holds you secure.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness or his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely[ goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.