This weekend at Calvary we’re pondering the story of a man who lacked only thing necessary for life. It made me think of Psalm 23 — “Because the Lord is my shepherd, I will lack nothing.” How many of us live our lives as though we lacked nothing? Tina Sinatra, in writing in her book, her memoirs of living with her father Frank, said this about her dad: “My father was a man who all his life, looked outside for what was missing inside.”
And you know what? We know better, but we do it too…too often you and I desperately chase after stuff we are convinced will fill up our lives and make us happy or content or successful or real or valued or loved. I did a wedding a number of years ago. I was the co-pastor along with an older retired pastor. He didn’t really want me there. Definitely didn’t want me to preach. He had never heard me, didn’t know if I could do a good job, but the couple wanted me to preach and they finally won out. I could preach, but he would also.
Don’t you know I went to the wedding determined to preach better than he did –and I did– I was funnier, more heart-felt. More people complimented me afterwards. (I know I counted.) And I think I would’ve been happy… at least for a moment… but I was standing feeling a little bit of the happiness drain out because I was overhearing someone tell him how much they appreciated his comments.
In that moment I felt the gentle rebuke of Jesus saying, “Why would you feel bad that I used him to speak to her? Why does their opinion of you matter to you more than my opinion of you?”
He was trying to teach me what it really means to lack nothing.
Have you ever been in that place? The place where others matter to you more than God… the place where what others think of you matters more to you that what God thinks of you? Do you understand, it’s the holes on the inside that cause us to feel like we are lacking something.
Have you ever struggled with peer pressure? If you experienced it when you were younger chances are good it’s still there. It’s the evidence of a hole that you are trying to fill with what others think of you. Do you find it hard to say no? Are you a people-pleaser? Do you need desperately crave something from your spouse? Or a friend? Don’t get me wrong, life-giving relationships can be a beautiful thing, but sometimes we look to each other to fill needs that only God should fill.
Have you ever told a lie, just a little one, in order to make yourself look a little better? Have you ever felt like you need people, more than you love people? David says, when the Lord is my shepherd I will lack nothing…
Do you lack nothing?