"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Psalm 23:1
I've been thinking about this verse for several days. I was originally going to write about how God has met our family's needs so many times. But as I thought about all the little instances, none seemed to stand out as large enough to write about. And the more I thought about this verse, the more I thought about Christians around the world whose needs aren't met.
I know there are Christians who do go hungry at times. I know there are Christians who are homeless. It's so easy to look at this verse from an affluent American point of view, yet there are even Christians facing hunger or homelessness in America. Though our family is not rich by American standards, I know we are rich compared to many people around the world.
As a teenager, my family was stationed in Panama (with the Army) for awhile. Being a family who likes to get off the beaten path, we traveled into some more rural areas, away from the big cities and the military bases. I saw poverty and subsistance living in person. We visited the orphanage where many of the kids weren't actually orphans, and weren't available for adoption. They lived there because their families couldn't afford to feed them, and they only saw their families on special occasions.
While there, we adopted my youngest sister. She is Cuna Indian, and many Cuna Indian children were placed for adoption with American families (especially girls) because Cuna families are very large, the San Blas Islands are overcrowded, and they are struggling to feed their families. Our baby sister arrived to us with nothing worse than scabies. But others we knew arrived to their new families malnourished and full of parasites.
When faced with the knowledge that our life is very rich and blessed compared to a large portion of the world, and knowing that some of those who do "want" are Christians, I have to consider that this verse has more spiritual applications than just the physical. When a Christian family is homeless, or hungry, they still have hope and faith and joy in Christ. When healing doesn't come for a loved one, they still have peace and hope.
God is God, and His ways are not my ways. When He promises blessings, it may not be physical blessings. When we trust in Him as our shepherd, we shall not want. That may mean that when times are difficult, and we are "wanting" physical things ... we are able to rest in Him and trust ... despite the lack of physical blessings.
I'll be honest. My family has never gone hungry, we've never been homeless, and Steve has never been unemployed. We've never faced the loss of one of our children or a serious illness. Sometimes I fear that our turn is coming. We can't go "untouched" forever. Looking at this verse, though, I know that if and when our turn comes ... God will still be my shepherd and I will not want. He will meet my needs, though He may not rescue us out of the painful situation. I trust Him, even if He leads me into places I would rather not go.
This post was written as a part of Faithful Bloggers. Christian bloggers are each writing about one verse from Psalm 23. To read what others have to say about Psalm 23, you can visit Faithful Bloggers.
Trusting In Him,