I Lack Nothing

“The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”

- Psalm 23:1

Dear Friends, Today is January 23 and I read the 23rd Psalm. If there’s any passage of scripture that you’re familiar with, this is probably it. If there’s ever a passage you memorized, this is probably it. It’s a comforting image of God as a shepherd, leading, guiding, providing and blessing us. It brings peace in some of the darkest times in our lives, times of sickness and times of grief. And...it's short. That certainly helps in our short-attention-span lives. As I read it this morning, it was the very first verse, in the NIV translation (not the King James I memorized as a child) that jumped out at me in a new way - especially in light of some great news in the life of our church. Let me share that first. For anyone who wasn’t with us in worship Sunday - or didn’t catch the Facebook Live feed we tried - despite our significant summer-time deficit, we were able to complete 2018 with not only a balanced budget, but a modest surplus! The full reporting will be available at our Annual Congregational meeting in February, but a huge thanks to everyone who responded to Budget Chair Joe Schoeler’s challenge to increase their contributing! That, combined with some additional gas lease proceeds, our UP with Kids daycare’s increased contributions and great work by our leaders and staff to keep expenses down in November and December, and we were able to finish the year very well! I’m excited to say we are beginning 2019 on solid financial footing! In light of that news, the opening verse of Psalm 23 is particularly meaningful. I lack nothing. This is more than a statement of fact, it’s a statement of faith. It’s a mindset that is developed in response to a history of God’s provision and a trust that God will continue to provide. David, the psalmist, is not saying that in his current situation he has enough food and water to last until he draws his last breath, or that the home he lives in will never need repairs and he has clothes that will never wear out. He is saying that God will provide. If I look at my bank account at the end of the month, and see a balance of $100, I can fret and worry about the lack that I have - how will I pay for X, Y & Z next month? But another person can look at that same bank balance and marvel that after every bill has been paid, there remains $100 left over! One person is living with a mindset of scarcity, the other a mindset of abundance. David, in Psalm 23, is writing with a mindset of abundance, because he is putting himself in the hands of God. God who has provided in the past and he trust to provide in the future. In fact, he recounts how in the past, because of God’s gracious acts, his cup overflowed! You and I have a choice. Will we live with a mindset of scarcity, constantly looking at what is missing in our lives, and grousing and complaining and striving for more? OR will we live with a mindset of abundance, trusting that at any moment and every moment, God will supply all our needs? Whether we recognize it or not, that is the truth. And if we can take up that mindset, we too, along with David and millions of women and men after him, can exclaim together - The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus and lacking nothing, Pastor Don

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