Word of the Month

I shall not want

June 2005

If we take a good look at the days, weeks, and months of our lives, and contemplate all the problems and critical moments that assail us, we find there is indeed much that torments us, brings us discomfort, hurts us, frightens or saddens us. Yet no matter how we look at it, the words of the psalmist always apply: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" (Psalm 23: 1)! In our life of faith we need not suffer any want if we cling to the Lord. We must be very clear on this in the depths of our souls. We may quite possibly appear to lack certain things at times, but we may rest assured that such wants can be addressed in the house of the Lord.

What sorts of things might we lack, for example? Childlike faith! Let us be completely honest: have we not all at some point in our lives been through circumstances that really put our faith to the test? Did we not at times lack childlike faith and trust in God? In the house of the Lord such wants can be alleviated because faith is created through the word of God, which is proclaimed at His altar (cf. Romans 10:17).

Sometimes we might lack peace - perhaps we have been robbed of it, or we have lost it somehow. This too can be replenished in the house of God. Each time our sins are forgiven, this peace is imparted to us anew in the words: "And the peace of the Risen One abide with you!"

And if our love toward God and our neighbour should run low, let us remember Apostle Paul's assurance that the love of God has been poured out in our soul (cf. Romans 5:5). We can recharge our love by moving these words within ourselves and giving this love new room to work.

Should we lack joy, let us be aware that there is nothing greater in life than to be a child of God. After all, it should bring us joy to know that we have been elected from eternity (cf. Ephesians 1: 4), that we await the return of Christ, and that we will be permitted to receive the crown of eternal life (cf. Revelation 2:10)! And those who are joyful also have strength, because the joy in the Lord is our strength (cf. Nehemiah 8:10)!

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." What are the distinguishing characteristics of a good shepherd? He protects his sheep and gives the flock good pasture to feed on. He carries the weak, cares for the wounded, and even goes after those who stray from the fold. Those who leave the fold are alone - without protection and without care. They will suffer want. For this reason, let us remain with the Good Shepherd and trust in Him. Let us seek grace, blessing, and help in His house. In so doing we too will perceive with great joy and thankfulness that we lack for nothing.

(From a service by the chief apostle)