Wanting and Willing
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. – Psalm 23:1 (NRSV)
After being advised by my doctor recently to drink more water, I placed myself on a water-drinking regimen. During the week, no more sodas, juice drinks or iced tea. Initially I struggled because my palate had never taken a liking to what I considered to be the blandness of water. Nonetheless I had a regimen to follow.
Every weekday I drank water, but I really wanted to drink something else. I had water with breakfast, but I really wanted orange juice. I had water with dinner, but I really wanted iced tea. I had water with snacks, but I really wanted Vanilla Coke.
After about a month into my regimen, something happened that I never expected. I developed a taste and a liking for water, so much so that I no longer have to force myself to drink it.
I now choose water over soft drinks and juices throughout the week and even on weekends when I’d planned to escape the drudgery of drinking water. I never thought I’d say it, but water is now what I want, not just what I need.
I’ve often wondered how the writer of Psalm 23 could claim to have no more wants, after declaring the Lord as their personal shepherd. I viewed being in the Lord’s flock as a moral duty that prohibited the fulfillment of any other wants and desires.
But now I’m looking at my empty water glass and wanting more of something good for me that I thought I’d never really want.
Maybe when we say, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” we give the Holy Spirit permission to not only change our direction, but our desires.
Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to taste and see that you are good. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.