“Yahweh is my shepherd; I lack nothing.” – Psalm 23: 1 (Jerusalem Bible)
The 23rd Psalm is such a fixture at funeral and memorial services that we may associate it first and most with grief and occasions of mourning. Which is fine.
But it is too rich for one setting or a single meaning.
Another is suggested by the Jerusalem Bible’s translation of the familiar, “I shall not want,” as “I lack nothing.”
“I lack nothing.” I have enough. With God, I am enough. Right now. Right here.
A lot of missteps in life can be traced to a gnawing fear, a corrosive feeling that, “I am not enough.” Inadequate, lacking, insufficient, overlooked and under-valued — not enough. If I get this, then I’ll be enough. If I attain that, then I’ll be enough. If they honor me, then I’ll be enough. All sorts of voices — parent’s voices, advertiser’s voices, coach’s voices, the devil’s voice — whisper to us, hiss at us, and play on our fears — “You are not enough.”
These are lies. With God, you are enough.
“I lack nothing,” sings the Psalmist. What boldness, joy, life. With you, O Lord, I am enough, and more than enough. My cup is full to overflowing.
By the grace of God, you are enough. Just as you are. Trust this, rise up and live.
For your word of truth in a world of lies, thanks be to you, O God, our shepherd. Amen.
Tony Robinson, a United Church of Christ minister, is a speaker, teacher, and writer. His newest book is Called to Lead: Paul’s Letters to Timothy for a New Day. You can read Tony’s “Weekly Meditation” and “What’s Tony Thinking?” at his website, www.anthonybrobinson.com.