I recently found some old works of art produced by our sons as they were growing up. The boys were delighted to find these gems and reminisce over when and where they were made. What makes me smile the most is how each child laughed at his past creations, and tried so hard to outdo his brothers with having produced the most ‘terrible’ creation. Gone are the days where they came home from school and nursery proudly displaying their ‘masterpieces’. At the time their offering was a gem, a creation just for Andy and me, and something they were delighted to hand over to us. They never considered it was less than adequate or could be improved on. It was great and it was for us; what more could we want?
As a parent, what more could you want? The creation was amazing and admired and treasured – not because it was the work of an artist or craftsman, but simply because of the love with which it was given. As I watched the kids now laughing over their creations, jokingly mocking each other’s past art abilities, I was reminded of today’s verse.
When I used to read today’s verse, I would find myself in a quandary. It was a verse that was wonderful when considered in terms of financial needs and provision, but what about the other lacks? ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing’ and yet why, I would wonder, did I feel like I lacked so very much? Why was I so painfully aware of my lack as a mother, a wife, a child of God, a worker in His Kingdom?
For years, it would seem to me, my offering to the Lord of my heart and my being was so much lacking and limited, painfully inadequate and insufficient. It was a joke and something to be laughed at, just like the kids now mocked their earlier attempts at art. I would look at what I had to offer and I would only see the need for improvement. And how quickly the enemy reminds us of our shortcomings and compares us to the people around us, swallowing us up if we’re not careful, in shame and self pity, encouraging and enticing us to hide back all that we are and all that we have to offer.
One day as I pondered this psalm before the Lord, I discovered a truth that spoke so deeply into my heart that it continues to change me to this day. God showed me that the emphasis and responsibility wasn’t on ‘I’ but on ‘Him’. Now I always read this Psalm beginning with the word ‘Because’. ‘Because the Lord is my shepherd I lack nothing’. I began to understand that my focus shouldn’t be on what I was giving Him but on His ability to make up the difference. I lack nothing, not because I’m super duper, but because He provides all that’s missing! Because of who He is, He takes what I offer Him and He makes it enough!
Yes, my offering is just the same. I could still mock it and tear it apart with criticism; it’s still pretty inadequate and limited. The difference is now I understand that God sees beyond the gaps and the limitations. He not only takes my offering with the delight of a parent presented with their child’s masterpiece but He also transforms it into something beautiful for His glory. Just like the boy with the five loaves and two fish – it really wasn’t enough, but put into the hands of Jesus, it became so much more.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today I give You my life and all that I am. I know, Lord, it isn’t all that it should be or could be, but Lord I ask You to take my life and use it for Your glory. I ask, Lord, that You would take my offering and mould it in Your time into something beautiful and reflective of You. Lord, today I chose not to look at my lack, but at Your sufficiency. Thank You, Father God, for Your love that makes this possible for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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