As I reflect on this very familiar Psalm, particularly in light of events past that have shaken our community to its very essence, I am reminded that people in these times look to leaders for direction, assurance and above all, comfort. The nature and consequence of these events are such that disappointment and disillusionment will inevitably follow. No man or organisation will ever be able to fully satisfy people’s material and emotional needs in this time.
As our community rebuilds its lives, homes, places of work and social connections, there is anxiety about the cost of building materials and basic food items, and the availability of those things as well. The writer of the Psalm says “I shall not want”. How can our city’s people, not want for these things when so much is needed? How can I tell a family living in their car or a tent to not want for something better?
The answer to these questions is both simple and difficult. Simple in that God, through this Psalm, says that He will lead us, He will provide for us and He will be our comfort through adversity. And I know for all of this to be true.
The difficulty is in letting go of the things that consume our daily thinking – our families, work, deadlines and school runs – all of these are relevant and important.
For myself the turning point was when God restored my soul. That time was many years ago now. However, I still recall it vividly. In that moment when I knew that my sin was forgiven, I also knew what it was to be able to read and relate to every word of this Psalm.
My (and our) only hope is this world, is when the spiritual aspect of our lives transcends the material.