by Dianne Eckermann
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The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).
Read Psalm 23
This most well-known of psalms is both introduced and summarised in its first verse: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. This short, simple sentence holds profound and deep meaning – God is with me; I need nothing more.
Our Shepherd knows us better than we do ourselves. He knows we need rest and provides green pastures and still waters so that we may be restored. He looks after our spiritual wellbeing, guides us on the right paths, protects us from our enemies, provides us with sustenance and covers us with his goodness and love. The psalm ends with a promise of life with the Lord forever, but it is also very much about trust in Immanuel, God with us here and now.
A small flock of wild sheep lives near our home in the Adelaide Hills. They graze wherever they can. They are afraid of people, cars, wild dogs and foxes. Their fleece is unkempt, tangled with blackberry brambles and badly in need of shearing. Somehow they manage to find water during summer when the creek dries up and they survive through the dangers surrounding them. Above all, they evade every attempt to be taken to a safe place where they can be properly cared for and their needs met.
Without trust in God we, like those sheep, are uncared for, living in the shadow of death and fearful about what may happen next. Instead of guidance from a good shepherd, we fall back on our own resources and have the potential to lead a ragged life, always wanting more and not knowing how or where to find it.
By trusting the Lord as our Shepherd we live with his promise, ‘I am with you’. We know where our lives are going as we are refreshed, guided, protected and comforted in God’s love. Nothing more is needed.
Dear God, we thank you that you shepherd us through our lives, during difficult times as well as times of peace. We want nothing more than to feel your goodness and love for each of us as we travel through life to live with you forever. Amen.
Dianne has served in Lutheran education as a teacher, school leader and system leader at Lutheran Education Australia. Now retired from full-time work, she continues to volunteer on several committees and as a school board member. She lives in the Adelaide Hills with her husband, Robert, and is in strong demand as a babysitter for her three grandchildren.