“The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” Psalm 23:1
“I have all that I need”…do we honestly believe that promise from God or are we always searching for “something else” to provide us with contentment? So many times our sense of satisfaction or contentment goes out the window with our desire to have more. We want more possessions, a better home, more wealth, more friends, and the list goes on and and on. In our “wants” we forget the simple words of Paul, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.” As I read those words I am struck by how simple our lives would be if we weren’t restless and jealous and always complaining about what we don’t have.
Throughout the Bible we are often compared to sheep with God being our Shepherd. Philip Keller was a sheep rancher and in his book, A Shepherd Looks at the Twenty Third Psalm, he explains vs. 2…”He lets me rest in green meadows…” He paints the picture of a sheep so completely satisfied that there isn’t the least desire for anything more, other than to lie down in green pastures. In the KJV the wording is a bit different and puts a whole different spin on it…”He makes me lie down”…sometimes sheep have to be forced to lie down. Keller goes on to explain that in order for sheep to lie down 4 things are required.
- They have to be full. Hungry sheep stay on their feet searching for another mouthful of food. How often do we hunger for “worldly” things when what will truly satisfy us is right within “touching” distance?
- They must be unafraid. They will not lie down if they are fearful. Does rest escape our grasp because of our fears?
- They must be content. They must be comfortable before they are able to lie down.
- Sheep will not lie down unless there is harmony in the flock. If there is friction over the butting order among them, then they simply cannot relax and lie down.
Keller states that sometimes God has to say, “You need to lie down,” by allowing an illness, or heartbreak to make us stop and reevaluate our priorities. When we choose to continue the “craziness” of our lives we miss the things that are most important. As we go about our day today let’s think about what we are afraid of, what we are hungry for, what is creating discord in our lives and most importantly is any of it worth it since it is causing us such discontent.