Today, the assistant pastor taught our Sunday school class using Psalm 23 as his text. My mind was suddenly transported back to when I was around four years old. I distinctly remember sitting beside my mom in a little small town church during the testimony service. I was yanking on her sleeve saying, “Tell them I want to say something!” She stood and testified and then said, “Lori wants to testify.” I quickly stood and blurted out, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want!” and sat down just as quickly. I remember that being the first verse I ever memorized and knew it was a scripture I needed to know. I loved standing and saying that verse at church any chance I got.
Here I am nearly forty years later and that verse still holds significance to me. I can say it is a testament of the importance my parents placed on teaching scriptures to their children. They were firm believers in Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. It is also a testament of the Word of God and how it can be life sustaining.
I am able to say that living in this world comes with ups and downs. I can sit here and say that life can sometimes get the best of us and it can sometimes be amazing. I sat last night in a baseball stadium with family and friends enjoying a great evening of baseball and good Christian music. I sat out on the grass and watched the wonderful people in my life laughing and enjoying each other’s company. I watched two little girls tumbling and somersaulting across the field with great delight. Joy and laughter filled our hearts. At the same time, I could also know there are great stresses of life that can bear down on us: health, finances, struggles, etc. I could list many things that when I walk back in the front door of the house, that flood in and remind me that bills are still waiting to be paid, and there are still the stresses of living.
Bad news comes and when it does, God has given us His word to turn to and hold on to His promises. One of those is Psalms 23:1 The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. As I listened to the lesson this morning, I was reminded that I do not have to worry and fret. I do not have to struggle alone. I do not need to let the daily stresses take away from the joy and peace that God has already given. He is a Good Shepherd and a Good Father. He has already made a way for us. He is our Provider and a present help in time of need. He is our Everything and His is our All. His Word is full of promises. When he gave instructions for parents to teach the commandments, His Word to their children, it wasn’t just to pass along information. It was to instill in the next generation the understanding that God is God. He is strong, powerful and real. He is always there and He reigns supreme. It was about teaching them that God is the provider, the giver of life, the healer and the keeper of our souls. It was about giving them hope for the future and peace in the storm. It was about making sure, they knew who they could turn to and who was their Protector. It was for the Joy of the Lord to be the strength for the next generation.
I am so grateful that my parents took the time to teach me that The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want. I can trust in God for His promises are true and sure. His Word can be my source for joy and peace. He is truly a Good Shepherd watching out for me. He provides and I shall not want. I have assurance that He will always provide and He will always keep me safe and secure.