The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
We all go through periods in our lives when we feel like we’re struggling. Things get on top of us, and we wonder just how we’re going to make it to the end of the day. It feels like we’re walking through a long, dark tunnel, and are all on our own. We suspect that there is a light at the end of it, but we’re firmly in the middle of it, and cannot see even a pin prick of light from either end. Sometimes, although we know in our heart that God would never desert us, it feels in our head as if he has. I have been in just such a place recently, hence the absence of Daily Readings, but thankfully, with God’s help and the love of my friends and family, I can now see the light flooding into the tunnel, even though I haven’t reached the end yet.
Psalm 23 is one of the most famous bits of the Bible. Most of us know it so well that we become almost immune to what the words mean. I think I’ve been in this position myself, but time and time again over the last few months, I’ve been unable to get the verses out of my head. That’s the reason why over the next couple of weeks we’ll be exploring the Psalm in our Daily Readings.
The opening verse is one of such immense promise. The Lord is our shepherd, we read. Shepherds were interesting characters in the Old Testament. They were isolated from society, and focused entirely on the sheep in their flocks. They would live with them day and night. They would feed them and water them. They would lead them to the best fields. They would take interest in each and every one of their sheep. They would even lay down their lives to protect them. In the same way, the Lord, our God, will look after us and protect us. He loves us, he cares for us, and, through Jesus, he has laid down his life for us.
Since the Lord is our shepherd, we shall not be in want. Just as shepherds provide all that their sheep need, God will look after us and ensure that we want for nothing. He has given us everything we need to live, and will continue to do so.
Maybe you feel like you’re isolated and alone at the moment. You’re not. God loves you, is interested in you as a person, and will provide all that you need to escape this present darkness. Maybe you feel happy and joyous. Remember that it is through God’s provision for you that you are in that enviable position, and that God continues to bless and guide you.