I Shall Not Want

May 28, 2020

In this time of upheaval and uncertainly, I am consciously and glaringly aware of my vulnerability. We are all in need. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, financially; there is a hole to be filled. We don’t know what tomorrow holds – much less, next week, next month or next year. We begin to question everything we knew to be true about our lives. The fragility of life, the swiftness of death; the guarantees we believe we were promised, shattered before our very eyes. We search for guidance, for answers as to what the future holds.

The Lord is my shepherd.

Your hopes change, your dreams are re-imagined. No longer is the wish for endless wealth, but to make ends meet. No longer the need to buy extravagances, but weekly groceries. No longer the yearning for jet setting, but a simple walk outside.

I shall not be in want.

We long for freedom, for normalcy. But we’re willing to keep our desires small. Now, fresh air would be enough – free from the watchful eye of local authorities, free to share a stroll with someone we care for, free to leave our homes with nothing but our identification, no newly-drafted form in tow.

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

Summer is coming, and here it becomes blisteringly hot. We wish for a cool breeze, to hear the roar of the ocean waves as we walk along its shore.

And leads me beside still waters.

In quiet contemplation, we consider what really matters. Our health, our loved ones, food to eat and clean water to drink. Our God that saves even when the world so desperately takes.

He revives my soul.

We wonder what we will do, where we will go. How do we shift our habits and our thinking to adapt to this new norm. This road winds so far and the fog so heavy we cannot see ahead.

And guides me along right pathways for His Name’s sake.

Made in God’s image, we do not measure up. We are sick. We are broken. Virus or not, humanity is flawed. The end is certain, whenever our time may come.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death

We are surrounded by negativity, pessimism, cruelness, evil. But the light lives on. It lives in all of us. We can bring positivity, optimism, kindness and good.

I shall fear no evil.

We are not alone. In this time of isolation and loneliness, we are never alone.

For you are with me.

We seek familiarity. A friendly voice on a call, a warm face on a video, a bowl of soup on a rainy day. Like a blanket to envelop us, to bring us security when all is insecure.

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

We count our blessings. They are many. We often forget what blessings they are. Unrest surrounds us, but our hearts are full.

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me.

We all make choices, though we have been chosen.

You have anointed my head with oil.

We have everything we need. God provides always.

And my cup is running over.

We bring our light and our hope into the world. We bring kindness during a dark time. We love because He first loved us.

Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

One day we will join our Maker. Until then, we can rest assured that what awaits us far outweighs all we could imagine.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

As written for the Fourth Sunday of Easter for St. James Church, published in the weekly newsletter on May 1, 2020.

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