Read Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;

                he restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil;

                for you are with me; your rod and your staff– they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

                you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,

                and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.


From Rev. Richard Howard, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Morgantown

“I shall not want.” Our whole life is about wanting: I want, I shop, I look, and when I have what I have desired, I then want more stuff. If I allow myself to be defined by our consumer culture, then I shall want, I shall always want.

The words in the original Hebrew are perhaps better translated as “I shall lack nothing,” or “I shall lack no good thing.” What do I lack? I could say that I lack an iPhone, a house in a gated community, a fully-funded pension, or… (fill in the blank! We all can do it so easily!).

Perhaps we should understand “What do I lack?” in the sense of “What really matters that I do not have?”   We don’t lack lots of things: we lack just one: intimacy with God. The only thing that can cause us to say, “I shall not want,” or “I lack no good thing,” is God. Nothing else. Just the Lord. The Good Shepherd of the sheep.

As people of faith, God is our satisfaction. God is good enough, for God exceeds whatever we may think we desire. When we embrace this, we shall dwell in the House of the Lord, forever.


Help us, O Lord, to acknowledge that the one thing we lack is You.