In darkness, I sit on the floor of my sick son’s bedroom just watching over him. I watch for signs of slumber; for quiet breathing, inhale and exhale. I watch for no more squirming, for indications of stillness and rest. I adjust the trash can (the ‘spit up’ bucket) on the floor next to me just in case. I feel my son’s forehead for the hundredth time and place his favorite stuffie friend, Pete the Cat, into his arms. Then I pull the covers up, turn on soft music, and think—
This must be what God means by, “I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1).
After all, Psalm 23 is not for the times when everything is going our way. It’s not for seasons of celebration or when life soars on fluffy clouds of ease. Rather, it’s for moments like this—when we’re sick, when days are hard, and when life isn’t what we expect it to be. It’s in these moments, we can still declare, “I shall not want.”
Because HE “makes me lie down in green pastures.”
HE “leads me beside still waters.”
HE “restores my soul” (v.2-3).
God is actively working on your behalf and mine to shepherd and show us we are never alone, no matter what. We may wish everything worked out according to our plans. We may want life to be problem-free. But what we really need is someone, like a mother, who offers the security and safety we crave even in the midst of the storm.
That’s who God is.
And that’s what “I shall not want” really means.
It means we have Someone to depend on. We have an Anchor for our souls. When is the last time you let God watch over you? When is the last time you let Him tuck you into bed and tell you, “everything will be alright?”
Perhaps today you need to “dwell in the house of the Lord” awhile (v.6). When you do, you too will be able to say with greater confidence—
“I shall not want.”