When You Struggle With Enough


When I was a little kid sitting in church listening to the pastor read the Bible, I loved it when Psalm 23 was one of the day’s lessons. I would look up at the big stained glass window of Jesus holding a little lamb. I could easily picture Jesus as a Shepherd playing with the sheep, leading them to a bubbling creek, finding their favorite snack—green grass.

But one part of the psalm always puzzled me: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” What could that mean? Didn’t David want God to be his shepherd? Did he want a different shepherd?

One Sunday after church when Psalm 23 was again part of the service, I decided to ask my mother, “Mom, what does that part of that psalm mean—I shall not want?”

“Well, it means that because God was David’s shepherd, David didn’t want anything else.”

Mmm…this seemed even more confusing. I was still at the age when I thought my mother knew everything, so I didn’t question her. But I didn’t understand. Sure her answer made more sense than not wanting Jesus for a shepherd. But how could David not want anything else? Didn’t he want food or clothes? How could you not want chocolaty fudgesicles or Barbie dolls?

Now that I’m a little more grown up (I still love fudgesicles) I understand a bit more. David’s statement, “I shall not want” meant that he was content with what he had. He was saying, “Because God is taking care of me, I have everything I need.” He trusted that God would not only provide food and clothes but rest and comfort, protection and mercy. David was wearing the color of contentment.

When I’m wearing envy green I’m constantly looking at what I don’t have. I’m comparing what I have with what I see others possess. I complain that what I have is not enough.

But on those rare occasions when I put on the color of contentment, I remember that God has always taken care of me. I begin to trust that He really does know what He is doing and is leading me on the path that is best for me. Instead of complaining about what I don’t have, I start to notice the blessings already in reach.

Lately, I’ve heard God whispering the word enough. Through His Word I hear Him asking me to look at what I already have and realize that it is exactly what I need right now. The Shepherd gently tells me, “I love you. If you needed more, I would give you more. Trust me—you have enough.”

My Shepherd tells me, “I love you. If you needed more, I would give you more. Trust me—you have enough.” Click To Tweet

When I struggle to get rid of my envy green outfit, I try to take myself back to the view of the stained glass window of Jesus holding the little lamb. When I start to look at what I don’t have, I remember David’s confidence that his Shepherd would give him everything he needed. I repeat his words, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” and ask God to help me wear the color of contentment.

Next step: Which color are you wearing today? Envy green? Or the color of contentment? Post the words of Psalm 23:1 somewhere you will see them often today to remind yourself of the Shepherd’s care.

Divine Makeover001This post was adapted from my book for teens and young women:

Divine Makeover: God Makes You Beautiful.

Perhaps you have been looking for a resource for your youth group or a study to do with your daughter. Or maybe you need a confirmation or graduation gift for a lovely young woman.

Check out Divine Makeover at CPH and Amazon.



The secret for contentment