Saturday, January 12, 2019
Funny, isn’t it, how certain pieces of Scripture jump off the page and smack you full in the face.
I am doing a study of the book of Luke and there are extra passages for each day. One of these extra passages was Psalm 23.
In the version I was reading, the verse said,
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I have what I need.”Psalm 23:1, CSB
I have what I need.
I have what I need?
What a foreign concept for modern thought in 2019!
As I sat there in my chair, I began to think through my own life.
- This new church venture, with lots of questions and uncertainties, could this verse mean that we have exactly what we need to thrive spiritually and love each other, in this moment? I have what I need.
- The upstairs of our house that may have not been remodeled since it was built in 1896 (okay, that’s stretching it a little), could this mean that we have what we need right now? That we have what we need even before we get new carpet for the hallway and a new ceiling for the guest room? I have what I need.
- A job that I had that humbled and tried and tested and convicted and frustrated me, could this verse mean that God brought me what I needed there? I have what I need.
- In my questions of how to spend my time (writing? nursing?) whether to try something new or to remain where I am, could this verse be true there? I have what I need.
- In the question of how to handle our finances and where to put our priorities (trips? ministry? ministry trips?) is this verse still true? I have what I need.
- In my struggle to stay healthy and lose extra pounds, a life-long frustration and weakness, could this be true as well, even while I’m still on the journey? I have what I need.
- In the uncertainty of whether or not we will be blessed with a pregnancy and children, is this verse true? I have what I need.
When I was five years old, Psalm 23 seemed so simple. Now, the idea of “I shall not want” or “I have what I need” seems stranger than it did then, more counter-culture, more unusual, more different from the way most Americans live their lives.
But the truth of Psalm 23:1 hasn’t changed since 1987 when I was five. It hasn’t changed since 1707 when Captain Garrison (the book I am currently revising) was a young boy watching the moon. It hasn’t changed since A.D. 7 when Jesus was a boy, probably watching the moon as well. It hasn’t changed since 1067 B.C. when King David was a boy with his harp, crafting poetry under the moon.
And while it might seem stranger to me now at the grand old age of 36, it’s also more beautiful. It’s richer, more packed with meaning. It’s deeper, wider, longer, because the world and my experiences are deeper, wider, longer, and yet, despite them, I know that this verse holds true.
As long as the Lord is my shepherd, I have what I need.