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I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

I do not

Dear Faith Family,

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)

She said it again! “I need one of those.” In front of her on the shelf at the grocery store is an organic, “healthy”, chocolate bar. That’s when I responded like a sophomore (a wise fool): “Need?” An innocent question, right? That’s when I begin my descent in to trouble. I tell her: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Psalm 23:1 is translated “want” (lack, need, do without). I lack not. My needs are all met, taken care of, even before I am aware of them.

Here’s the catch. We tend to help God understand our needs, right? “God, I need a                         .” And, when God does not come through, well, we’re inclined to apply Psalm 23 to someone else, or to reinterpret Psalm 23 so that it fits our current circumstances, or to assume that for some reason God has failed. God ever “fail” you? You know like the time that you prayed for                        , and he didn’t grant your request?

It would seem that it’s easy to get confused about the difference between “wants” and “needs”. What is it that we really need, anyway?

Psalm 23 lets us know that sheep need a couple of things: provision and protection. Sheep need both of those commodities when life is easy, when life is hard, and when life is over.  Think about it: Sheep. Not the brightest crayon in the box. And “mighty warrior” isn’t a title often applied to sheep. David, the shepherd boy, identifies himself (us) as a sheep.

In the end, it sounds like what sheep, I mean we, really need is The Shepherd. In John 10 Jesus lets us know that He is that Good Shepherd! Trust Him that He really is providing for you and protecting you all at the same time. He may not always give you everything that you want, but you can rest assured that he is taking care of your every need, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Giving thanks for our Shepherd,

Pastor Karl