I Shall Not Want (207-208/365)

What a wonderful thought! Oh, we would certainly be correct to ascribe to God all the greatness and glory due to His name, but what a privilege, what an opportunity to see His infinite power and His everlasting peace from such a humble perspective. Truly, truly, we could say in all confidence and security.. The Lord Is My Shepherd.

I just want to make sure I have everything in mind, because I believe there is much power to be had and appreciated with such as simple phrase.

To say, “The Lord Is My Shepherd” is to recognize who God is – He is Lord, He has all power, full authority, and complete influence over each and every one of us, in each and every aspect there is of our beings – body, soul, spirit, and anything and everything in between are under His watchful gaze. We recognize God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. We understand that while we are creations bound within the limits of time and the confines of space, He is Creator who is the Beginning and the End, as well as the Alpha and Omega – eternal and infinite…

…and in our trying (in vain) to comprehend the magnificence and glory of God, we would not make a lot of headway without recognizing that, infinitely powerful and eternally wise as God is, He is as a humble Shepherd, who we established is with us, and not only is He with us, but He guides us as well. We are never without His presence, and He never fails to provide us with His powerful and insightful guidance.

So this God, who is THE Lord, is, among other things, our Shepherd – but we would be more precise in our appreciating Him if we not only recognized how He is our Shepherd – We know and are confident to declare, even in times when we are certainly on our own with nobody else in sight to be with us and/or to guide us, that The Lord is “MY” Shepherd. In all the things we are afraid to open up to other people, even to our closest of friends and family, we know that we have a Friend who sticks closer to us than a brother, a Shepherd who is willing to leave to the 99 to find us – He knows all there is to know about us and chooses to be with us and to enjoy us – The Lord is truly MY Shepherd.

And it’s not like He has shown His being our Shepherd in the past – well, that is true, just as much as He will continue to be our Shepherd in the future, up until the end of time, and beyond… But apparently, above the peace we have that God has been faithful to us in our past, and above the assurance that we have that God will continue to be our faithful Shepherd in the future, we all ought to know that He is our Shepherd, right here, and right now – He IS our Shepherd, in the present.

We give God the glory and praise that He alone deserves, because He has shown, through Christ and His finished work, how, indeed, He is The Lord; And indeed, He is my Shepherd.

As we understand this and to appreciate this truth, we could truly say what the Psalmist says after his wonderful proclamation – “The Lord Is My Shepherd, I shall not want.”

Consequently, because we recognize that we have the Creator of all things seen and unseen with us, guiding us, here and now, and up close and personal, I have reason to believe that we would eventually see how anything and everything else in all creation has secondary priority. It’s not that we see all that our beings say we want and need as inferior, but it is for us to understand that all of these things come a far second compared to what God has already provided for all of us – that is, reconciliation unto our unhindered union with The LORD, who is eternal in love and everlasting in life.

Sure, we may still have our wants and our desires, but because we know and say that “The Lord is my Shepherd”, we are indirectly proclaiming that all that our beings want do not necessarily have the same sway as they used to have upon us – no longer do they take too much space in our minds. In its place is our absolute appreciation of how God knew exactly what we all needed, and surely He has provided all that we need; We know this and appreciate this because of Christ and His finished work guaranteeing that it is so.

We could say that, “The Lord Is My Shepherd”, and it is to say “I shall not want”. I suppose, as I always would, that the other side of the coin also holds true – Because if we say that we “shall not want”, we’re also saying that we “shall have” – that is, if I was to take the rough antonym of ‘want’ as shown through the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Probably a ‘cleaner’ way of saying it is to say ‘I shall not want, for already have.’; Apparently, the truth of how God has us, being our Shepherd, and how we have God, who is our Shepherd – this Truth ought to make us so content to be so bold to say that it’s all that we need, and we shall not want.

Also, I find it interesting that the majority of Bible translations are absolutely spot on when it comes to the Psalmist saying, ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’… but we see so many variations in the words that follow. Clearly, there is much more than for us to say that we ‘shall not want’.

The New International Version says, ‘I lack nothing.’; The Holman Christian Standard Bible and the New American Bible say something similar: ‘there is nothing I lack’. Finally, Young’s Literal Translation and the Literal Standard Version say, ‘I do not lack’.

The opposite of ‘lack’ is ‘possess’, and even ‘enjoy’. Therefore, when we say that the Lord is my Shepherd, we can also indirectly be saying that we enjoy everything. We possess everything. But are we really in literal possession of everything? I mean, I get how we can enjoy everything, even the setbacks and the issues, considering that we have a Shepherd who is with us and guides us in all things – but what does it mean to be in possession of everything?

Well, I don’t think that it means that we have ownership of other people or their possessions. See, the New Living Translation says, ‘I have all that I need.’ But to be more precise, the Good News Translation says, ‘I have EVERYTHING I need’ – This, to me, is to say that we have all that matters in this life and the next, we everything we need for this reality, all in Christ, who is our Shepherd.

So even if we have literally nothing, down to the clothes on our back – well, guess what – The Lord Is My Shepherd, and we shall not want. The Lord Is My Shepherd, and we lack nothing. The Lord Is My Shepherd, and we have all that we need – we have EVERYTHING we need.

Isn’t that such a wonderful truth to appreciate? I could understand how we would certainly need some time to wrap our heads around it – and to be honest, we may never fully understand what it means to have the eternal and everlasting God as our Shepherd… but it doesn’t make it any less true than it is. God IS our Shepherd, and really, more than us trying to fully grasp this eternal Truth with our finite brains, we would probably do so much better to just enjoy it.

And to be honest, that’s a Truth that I specifically need right here, and right now, considering that things aren’t necessarily going the way I hoped, and I find myself in a crossroads, in need of some sort of direction.

I don’t want to go in too much detail, but let’s just say that the investments that I thought I’d throw a good deal of my resources into – well, they aren’t doing as good as they used to at the middle of the year last year. I’m barely etching any sort of profit now, but I am still thankful, considering I’m still in the black versus all the operational costs.

Then there’s also the ministry that was entrusted to me – I wanted to do so much, but what with all my desires, I find I lack the resources to follow through. And I’m not necessarily talking about money – I’m talking about not getting things done because I don’t have the talent I expect to get things done. What progress that’s present comes through, but in very slow trickles, and I guess if I was more impatient I’d probably be so out of control (impulsive, to be precise) by now.

I’m old, and probably part of me regrets throwing away what I now see was a really awesome relationship… And now I have everyone including my literal Mother pushing their hopes upon me of having a wife and children.

I mean, I’m not complaining. Or probably, sure, I am, but the thing is, I would not stop at just mentioning these things I have in mind, without mentioning that even in all this that is going on (or NOT going on), I know and believe that I have my God – He knows more than I let you guys know in these sets of words, and much more than I already know about all my situations… And this God, well, who is THE God, He is THE Lord – and He IS My Shepherd, who is with me, through all of it. He’s with me in all my frustrations – Let me say that and be precise about it: God is My Shepherd who is with me in all my frustrations. God is My Shepherd who is with me in all my foils and my setbacks.

God is My Shepherd, faithfully with me in spite of ALL my failures… and because of this, I am at peace.

I didn’t say everything about my investments. I do have to share, that God truly has been with me and He has been showing me His guidance and the ways I could go: Because see, even if I do see my investments failing, I’m seeing another opportunity come up – it’s not in the line of what I’ve been investing in for the past year, and therefore, it’s allowing me to truly diversify, at a time when I’ve realized I’ve tried one thing, and this thing will probably take time before it bounds back, IF it does even bound back.

And it’s not necessarily as if I’ve lost all hope with regards to my responsibilities, and my hopes and dreams involving the ministries entrusted to me – I am thankful, more than anything else, that I have a solid team that is actually present to hear me out. No matter how flawed the rest of the world thinks they are, I know for a fact that with their so-called shortcomings comes a great amount of potential… and if anything, I know for a fact that the Lord, who is faithfully being present and acts as my guide where I need it in my investments – surely He is with me in my relationships, just as much as He is with me in my ministry.

God IS My Shepherd, lovingly guiding me with His FULL and COMPLETE Wisdom, which knows and sees all; and because of this, I still move in power.

There is peace, and there is power to be had in the Word: It’s all brought to life through Christ, who is our Living Word, and who is our Word of Life.

And so we praise and thank God… for The Lord Is My Shepherd, and I shall not want.

God bless and keep you.

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