Newsletter 17 April 2020

Abundance or scarcity? What is your outlook right now?

I’ve been reading Dallas Willard’s book, “Life without lack” and studying Psalm 23. I intend to preach a sermon series on that text later this year. Along the way, I’m wrestling with the promise of Psalm 23, that, with my good Shepherd, I lack nothing.

The problem is, that’s not how I feel a fair bit of the time. Perhaps you can relate. It got even worse when I read a different translation of the final two verses of the psalm. This is the translation I’m on about:

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live. (Psa. 23:5–6 HCSB)

I needed to pray through that for a fair while before accepting it was true. Once I had though, I felt a deep sense of assurance. Then again this morning, on my prayer walk, I saw the beautiful bluebells in the photograph at the head of this newsletter. I was reminded that the abundance of God’s provision far exceeds anything I might perceive I lack.  It’s not that I never lack anything. It’s just that, compared to the super-abundance in this world and the next whatever I lack is insignificant.

During this time of uncertainty and scarcity, it’s important to lift our eyes from our feet to notice what is otherwise out of sight. May I encourage us all to make the most of our times of quiet with God. At least one part of the point of such devotional times is to refresh our spirits with full confidence in the abundant power and love of our heavenly Father.

God bless, and stay safe, Malcolm