For the last three years, I’ve had the privilege of seeing a therapist with an immense amount of professional and Biblical wisdom. She’s spoken into my life with humility and grace, often visiting and revisiting Psalm 23. I’ve spent a lot of time with her, lamenting the woes of living in a proverbial process and feeling as though I don’t have what I want or need. I don’t always lament dramatically, and often I don’t even recognize that I’m believing that there are areas of my life that are in lack. But, through sharing my thoughts, these beliefs emerge to the surface, where they can be addressed. And she often guides me to addressing them with Psalm 23:1:
“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.” (NLT)
As I am faced with this truth, over and over again, I have the opportunity to allow it to renew my mind. Simply put, this verse makes it clear that if I really needed it, I’d have it (whatever “it” may be for you or me). If I think I need a big savings account and wish I could speed up the saving process or find a higher paying job, I remind myself that I have all that I need. If I find myself dwelling on my age and lack of children, I remind myself that I have all that I need. If I feel lonely and wish for deeper community, I remind myself that I have all that I need. Because I have a good shepherd, who is leading and guiding me and providing for me every step of the way. And provision doesn’t always look the way I think it will.
Does this mean that I don’t accept opportunities to grow my savings, or stop hoping for children, or stop reaching out to people and growing community? No, it doesn’t. It means that I trust that the Lord is here, in this process with me, and if I need anything that I don’t have at this time, he’ll give it to me. I don’t have to make my desires happen, because he leads me into all that I need, and I hear and follow his voice. It’s trusting his goodness, his timing, his provision in my life are enough for me today. It’s turning my eyes off my circumstances and onto Jesus, the best friend and the great giver of peace that surpasses my worldly understanding.
…And it’s OK if that’s a process. The next couple verses of Psalm 23 say, “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.” Almost as if he knows that the process of trusting his provision requires strength and rest. There is no shame in the process of walking with the Lord, for he has chosen to be here with us as shepherd, provider and comfort as our minds are transformed by his goodness.