Friday, April 23, 2010

The thing about shopping lists...

I, like millions of other households in America, have a shopping list on my fridge. I dutifully note when we run out of milk, sandwich bags, or notebook paper for school. Sometimes I even remember to grab the list off the fridge when I'm going to the store! Well, sometimes...

Inevitably though, no matter how many shopping bags have been carried into the house and in spite of how many stores I've left a substantial amount of money at; about five minutes will pass until there is an item that needs to be added to the list - yep, all of five minutes!!

So in essence I never have an empty shopping list because there is always something we are in need of (and you do realize that these are things like shoelaces and q-tips. There is no "cute pair of new summer shoes for mom" on that list!)

Always in need.

Psalms 23:1 says "The Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need" (NLT).

(guess that rules out those new shoes...)

There is this confidence that because the Lord is my shepherd, the One who is responsible for my care and well-being, that what I have now is all that I need. This is most often rendered, I shall not want. In other words I am content, not in need of, or longing for anything.

Philip Keller in his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 (which I highly recommend, a short, easy read) says - "In the Christian's life there is no substitute for the keen awareness that my Shepherd is nearby."

"The keen awareness that my Shepherd is nearby" - what does that mean?
What difference does it make knowing God is a constant presence in my life? Exactly what impact does a nearby Shepherd have?

Remember these verses? "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" John 10:11
Ezekiel 3:4 "I myself will tend my sheep and cause them to lie down in peace...they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in lush mountain pastures."

There's an old hymn with the line "Jesus, Jesus how I trust Him. How I've proved Him o'er and o'er." There's a key in that - the God you've relied on all these years is the same God who is beside you now. The God who has carried you through the worse storms in your life still stands ready to help. "I am the Lord, I change not" ( Mal. 3:6 )
"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever". ( Heb. 13:8)

The God who has proven his faithful love in your life "o'er and o'er" is your Shepherd.
There may always be something on my shopping list; but not so in my heart for the Lord is my shepherd and I have everything that I need.

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