The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1 (KJV)
What does this verse mean to you? Have you ever uttered it before? When did you say this verse? Did you need comforting? Does this verse tell you anything about how to lead your life? If so what?
The following is a prayer first prayed by Thomas Merton:
“My Lord, God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”
Life isn’t easy and we all know it. Sometimes in the midst of the pain and fear it seems as though everything is collapsing in around us, we all know this too. At such times it is good to recite that famous verse, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”
Those words are as powerful now as they ever were. They are filled with ancient comfort and incredible wisdom. Just like that prayer is. Now we’ve all prayed it. We have each prayed that our lives be filled with a desire to please God.
And somewhere in the middle of praying that prayer and reciting that verse we discover that God is with us no matter how bad life might seem. Even if it is awful we aren’t alone, and that’s good news no matter what.