The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
Imagine the most populated prison in the world. The facility has more inmates than beds. More prisoners than plates. More residents than resources. The inmates complain incessantly that they are overworked, underfed and their bunks are hard.
The name of this prison is WANT.
You’ve met the prisoners. They always want something. Something bigger, newer, faster, thinner. But they don’t want much, just one thing. One new job. One new car. One new house. And when they have the ‘one’ they’ll be happy. Until … the new car smell fades. The new job gets old. And before they know it, they’re back in the WANT jail.
Are you in the WANT prison? You may be if you feel better when you have more, and worse when you have less. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drink, drive, or digest, you are in the prison of WANT.
That’s the bad news. The good news is you have a visitor. This visitor can get you paroled. The Psalmist David has come to tell you what God has for you is greater than anything you don’t have, that you still want.
Think about the things you own. Think about the house you live in, the car you drive, the money you’ve saved. Envision all your stuff and then think about this: You can’t take any of it with you. Ask any coroner.
Who you are has nothing to do with the cloths you wear or the car you drive. Life isn’t defined by what you have. Heaven knows you by your heart. When God thinks of you, He may see your compassion, your devotion, or your tenderness. He doesn’t think of your things.
And neither should you. Contentment comes when we can honestly say with Paul, “I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have … I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty.”
What is the one thing separating you from joy? How do you fill in the blank: “I’ll be happy when _____ ?” When I get that job? When I get married? When I have children? When I’m rich? But what if your ship never comes in, You never have children, or your dream of being with that special someone never comes true? If the situation never comes to fruition, could you be happy? If not, you’re in prison. And you need to know you have a Shepherd.
Our shepherd gives us grace for every sin, direction in every turn, and is an anchor for every storm. We have everything we need in Him.
And nobody can take God from us! No illness can infect our salvation. Bankruptcy cannot impoverish our prayers. A storm may take our earthy house, but cannot touch our heavenly home. AMEN!
So, why WANT for God? Aren’t we mighty privileged to have a God that provides all our needs, allowing us total contentment? What will you gain with contentment? I’d say you’ll gain the inner joy, and faith to say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not WANT!”
Try repeating it softly to yourself a few times… Shh! I think I hear the opening of a jail cell.