Psalms 23 is like that famous song everyone knows either passively or actively. I guess this is because the initiation starts from Sunday school and for some people at the dining table before dinner.
For some people this is the only scripture they know of plus Psalms 91, maybe. It might also be the only bible line I know in Runyankore/Rukiga, my local language.
Mukama niwe muriisa wangye tinkyena kintu kyoona…
So, you have heard of or you know this scripture right? Tell me if you had interpreted this way after reading this blog, leave your response in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I would love to know how you relate with it. Thank you 🙂
Psalms 23:1: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.NIV
Google defines lack as:
Noun: The state of being without or not having enough of something.
Verb: Be without or deficient in.
Half the time we relate lack to only money- there are bills to be paid, food to be bought and maybe just to have it on you for security and we feel like this is the solution to anything else but reading this verse again today gave me a different perspective.
When the writer says lack nothing, this also includes your mental health, new ideas, creativity, wisdom-especially on decision making. It includes anything and everything that you can and could be running out of are completely out of/deficient. Deficient reminds me of my primary school science classes.
The teacher would ask, “What food nutrient is a person with kwashiorkor deficient of?” And we scream, “proteins”. I had to learn how to spell this ‘kwasha’ word early enough but now I can only type it correctly with Google’s help, what a waste!…back to the point 🙂
He is your shepherd and as a result he meets your every need, not just some but all of them. This will of course challenge your faith especially if you are in luck at this moment but isn’t faith a substance of things hoped for and not seen?
You might not be feeling any peace at all in your heart right now, you could be experiencing anxiety stemming from all sorts of things but what you are feeling is only an emotion. Now I am not invalidating your fear, anxiety, sadness or any other feeling you are feeling, if anything your feelings are always valid but you cannot rely on them- sorry.
That is why they say do not make any decisions when you are angry or excited and some say, when you feel the anger rising, walk away or go to bed or put the phone down or do anything but react, in that moment.
The challenge is in knowing this and doing it, I sometimes say or do things in anger that I regret later but I am learning. Feelings are fickle and very unreliable.
You need to anchor your faith on the unwavering and never changing word of God. From generation to generation the word (God) stays the same. You can trust him. He is faithful, he is a promise keeper.
I picture David writing this psalm in despair, in pain, fear, very anxious and sad. His spirit was low, he felt like he was walking in the shadow of the valley of death. His soul needed some refreshing, he longed for a peace of mind, for some sleep and rest.He had hit rock bottom but amidst the raging storm, he remembered his God.
He remembered that the Lord is his Shepherd. David was an experienced shepherd. He was a shepherd boy for so long and I imagine it was easier for him to relate to God from this perspective.
David knew that a good shepherd would not abandon his flock, he fought off wild animals to protect the sheep, he always looked out for the best pasture he led his flock to clean streams of water. Now he spoke to his thoughts from that angle.
He was convinced that though he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, he won’t have to fear any evil because he had God by his side, he was not alone. He would be comforted by His rod and staff.
A whole king David needed comforting, he was afraid so it is okay to feel what you are feeling but what is not okay is for you to make a bed there.
I challenge you to confess his word with your mouth every time you feeling lack of anything like David did. Speak it out loud to yourself as many times as possible until your feelings fall in place. Let this truth be your waist belt, let it hold your loins in place every moment.
Let faith be your shield. All you need is a millet grain size kind of trusting. Just that, is enough to move mountains.
Someone said that before you feel it, you catch a thought.
Your feelings are a result of your thoughts so you better watch what you are feeding your brain on because it is going to come back in feelings and you will not even be able to connect the two.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing!
I am the Sparrow