They tell of a child who was asked to repeat the first verse of Psa. 23. She was nervous and shy, but made the attempt. "The Lord is my Shepherd"... "The Lord is my Shepherd"... "The Lord is my Shepherd," she repeated, but could not remember the rest of the words of the verse.
Commencing again, however, she said, "The Lord is my Shepherd...that's all I want."
Strangely enough she gave the true meaning of the well-known words, "I shall not want," for "I shall want for nothing" is the real purport of them.
If I have Him for my Shepherd, He will be enough for me in every detail of my pathway, enough in every circumstance, enough in every emergency. Enough in "the green pastures and still waters," enough to refresh or restore when faint or faltering, enough in the dark, gloomy valley, enough in the midst of enemies, enough all the days of earthly life, and enough in the house of the Lord forever. He will be with His sheep here, watching over, tending and defending every one, and they will be with Him there forever and forever.
If we have Christ as our Shepherd, we have in Him all that is needed for time and for eternity; while if we are without Christ, we are poverty-stricken in truth.
A well-known preacher was asked for a motto for a New Year's card, which was to be sent to Christians far and wide. At once he gave the opening words of a stanza of a much-loved hymn,
"Thou, O Christ, art all I want."
Those seven words express the truth of that first verse of Psalm 23. We need Christ, and in Him we find everything we need—Saviour, Keeper, Lover, Present Companion and Everlasting Helper. He is all this for each one who confides in Him. Never can we find ourselves in such a position or in such a condition where He cannot or will not succor us.
All under the sun changes—
Thou art the Same."
All here will pass away—
These are comforting words from Heb. 1, and the messages of the closing chapter of that epistle are like unto them—"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Boldly we may say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not fear." Having Him, we have all we need.
"In Thee I place my trust,
On Thee I calmly rest;
I know Thee wise, I know Thee just,
And count Thy choice the best."
First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].
Selections from Songs for the Night Seasons