I lack nothing
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.”
Psalm 23 is one of the most well-known and well-loved psalms. When I read Psalm 23 especially verses 1-3, I love the image of God as a tender and caring shepherd, a shepherd who gently leads and takes care of His flock.
I live in a small village where I’m more likely to bump into a sheep in the fields than I am another person when out walking. It’s quiet and peaceful and I often remember Psalm 23:1-3 when I’m driving or walking past the fields full of sheep and lambs. The sheep I see are well cared for and don’t worry about anything. Their every need is met by the shepherd who looks after them. The shepherd knows exactly what the sheep need and how best to keep them safe and well.
My study Bible explains Psalm 23:1-3 really well. It says that our shepherd knows the ‘green pastures’ and ‘quiet waters’ that will restore us. We will reach these places only by following Him obediently.
We live in a society driven by commercialism and the notion that we always have to be having the ‘next best thing’, or the latest, most up to date version of this that and the other. We feel that if only, I had the newest and best phone, fashion, technology, house, car etc. etc. then I would be happy. Or if I had a boyfriend or so and so liked me better, that’s it, finally cracked it, I would finally have everything I need and desire and I will be happy and content. But ask yourself, how often is it that no soon than we get what we think we need or we have the latest release then another newer one comes out, ours is no longer the best and we begin the cycle of wanting over again. We’re never happy with what we have, never content and always wanting more….
In Psalm 23, I am reminded that God is our great provider. He gives us what we need, this isn’t necessarily always what we want but He knows what is best for us and He will give us what we need. Now I don’t mean that you will one day wake up to the newest iPhone at the bottom of your bed or suddenly have an amazing job but I mean loving and caring provision of what we really need.
We need love, direction and at times correction. In God, and his sacrifice through Jesus, we find forever love and acceptance. We can be reconciled to God, forgiven and brought back into His arms. When we look to things and other distractions, it means our focus is not on God. It can be too easy to veer off in the wrong direction and get muddled – to rebel against our shepherd. By reading and studying God’s Word and spending time in prayer, we grow in our knowledge of God. If we are disciplined in how we devote spending time with God we can more easily accept the paths He leads us down, and I think we begin to realise that all the things we ‘want’ are not what we need at all.
God is all that we need and pursuit of a close and loving relationship with Him should be all that we desire. Through growing with Christ we know more and more of His character and promises and become more assured and confident that He will take care of our needs.
The Bible has lots of reference to God’s provision, for example in Psalm 91:2 God is described as a ‘refuge and fortress, my God, in whom I trust’. In Matthew 6:26 Jesus says ‘ Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?’
I would urge you to open your Bible and see how many other times we are assured of God’s provision. There will be loads! Write them down and keep them somewhere close by.
I am forever comforted by the knowledge that God cares for me, just as He cares for each of you. He holds us precious to Him and when we enter into a loving relationship with Him, we can be assured of His guidance, provision and love. Just as in Psalm 23, He will lead us, refresh our souls and guide us along the right paths, we lack nothing! What more could we possibly need?