As I have prayed through several situations over the last week or so, I have found myself returning to Psalm 23. The thoughts from the first phrase continue to comfort me, but I have processed heavily through the rest of it as well. It is amazing that such a familiar passage can continue to come alive over and over again.
Two thoughts about I shall not want…
1) I will lack or need nothing because God will provide. I neglect to keep this promise first and foremost in my heart and mind on so many occasions. I still fret and worry, allowing anxiety to dictate my prayers and behavior.
My first thought about provision naturally falls to my physical needs, but the idea of His provision extends so much further than what I will eat, drink, and wear. His provision also extends to:
Wisdom. I need guidance. I need help to know how to make certain decisions and interact with people. I shall not want covers those things, too. I will not lack for wisdom, knowledge, understanding, direction, or the answers I need when I need them.
Emotional peace. I cannot help but think of the song lyric, "Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer." I shall not want for that peace when I acknowledge the Lord as my Shepherd. Even when my heart is heavy with despair, I can know His miraculous peace in the middle of it!
Practical thoughts. This was a big one for me this past week as I had to work through some writing tasks. As I wracked my brain trying to come up with just the right words, God continually had to remind me that He provides every word if I will listen to Him!
2) I must determine in my heart and mind that I lack nothing! Oh how easy it is to convince myself that I must have this or do that. If I do not, then I am incomplete! I am lacking! I cannot possibly proceed with a productive life! Those are lies, plain and simple. I shall not want because I know that my Shepherd is enough. Following Him is enough. If my eyes are on Him, I know I lack nothing. Only when they stray do I see stuff that I think I must have.
I shall not want is both a promise that I will be provided for and a declaration that I will keep my eyes on the Shepherd, fully satisfied in Him as my provision. I choose to walk in that promise and declaration today!