I have several passages of Scripture that I consider to be favorites. Psalm 23 is one of these. The first verse reads: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (KJV). Another version offers a different translation: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing (NIV). The truth contained in the second half of both translations is contingent upon the Shepherd/sheep relationship in the first half of the verse.
When we embrace and nurture this relationship, true contentment is ours for the taking. Contentment, however, proves elusive when a person lives a merry-go-round existence of worldly endeavors. This kind of life might be enjoyable for a while, but it offers nothing you can take with you. Solomon confirms this in Ecclesiastes: Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands (5:15).
Why is it that we spend too much energy on what can’t be captured and too little on what is ours to claim in Christ? Jesus said: Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15).
Pursuing the abundance of the world is like a drunk trying to satisfy his thirst. He can drink from the rising to the setting of the sun and still not quench it. He will still be wanting something else or something more. He will never find contentment in the contents of a container.
True contentment is born out of a genuine relationship with the Lord who is our Shepherd. Paul echoed this principle when he said: Godliness with contentment is great gain (I Timothy 6:6).
If you find your life to be empty, hollow, and wanting, it may be time to let Jesus shepherd your life.