I was thinking about February being the month of love, and decided to do a little countdown to Valentine’s Day with a different verse from the Bible that has a special meaning for me. Of course, I love all of God’s Word – even the parts that step on my toes – but some verses have a more personal meaning than others.
The first verse I remember learning was Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. When I was in first grade, I had a very hard time not needing to rush out to the girls’ room during class time. We had regular recess times, but I suppose I didn’t use my time wisely. If you had to leave during class – for any reason – you would get a demerit. Those demerits could add up over time. I found my six-year-old self in quite a quandary. How could I keep from having to leave class? I guess it’s a silly problem to have, but my mother didn’t look at it that way. Every problem I had was worth listening to and considering. After she heard of my dilemma, she said, “Why don’t you try concentrating on a verse from the Bible? It will keep your mind busy until break-time so you can leave.” I agreed that this plan might work, and she suggested using Psalm 23:1. She quoted it to me, but I was familiar with it already. Yes, I’d try it.
The next day, when it was not yet recess, but I was wishing it were, I put the plan into action.
“The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.” I said to myself over and over.
As I quoted it in my mind, I thought, “What? Why wouldn’t I want to have the Lord as my Shepherd?” I pondered the words for a while. Before I knew it, it was recess! I had made it! No demerits.
But I still wondered why I didn’t want the Lord to be my Shepherd.
It was a few years before I realized that the verse is saying, “The Lord is my Shepherd [therefore;] I shall not want [any other thing]”. I had thought it meant, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want [him].”
I love Psalm 23:1 because it was the first time my mother pointed me to Scripture to solve my problems. She would do it many more times as I grew. I also love Psalm 23:1 because, now as a child of God, I do know the Lord as my Shepherd, and truly, I have no want. He supplies my every need.