What is it that you want? I ask because most of us, myself included, have a series of wants that we think, should they come true, will improve our lives significantly. “If only I had (fill in the blank), I would be ___ (successful, happy, content, or attractive). The Christian author, Max Lucado, describes this longing as a “Prison of Want.”
We have each willingly walked into this prison, shut the cell door behind us, and sat in the dark, holding out hope for various “wants.”
Personally, at one time in my life, I resided in one of the innermost cells of that prison. I wanted and wanted and wanted. I had money in the bank, nice cars, a great, big house on the hill, nice and expensive toys, but each new thing I got only seemed to fan the flames of my want. I never felt sated. It wasn’t until the financial collapse and the Great Recession of 2008 when I was stripped of all my belongings, did I realize how cold and empty my prison really was. I finally understood that I was trying to fill my life with wants, but only God could ease my hunger.
If I truly had my Shepherd in my life, I would not want. I would lack for nothing.
In his book, Traveling Light, Max Lucado asks, “If your ship never comes in, if your dream never comes true, if the situation never changes, could you be happy? If not, then you are sleeping in the cold cell of discontent. You are in prison. And you need to know what you have in your Shepherd. You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm. You have everything you need.”
For me, it took a calamitous turn in the market to see that all I needed was the Shepherd. It took a very painful life lesson to see that what I wanted was a poor substitute for what I needed.
Are your wants poor substitutes for the Shepherd? Are you living in a cell of discontent in the prison of WANT? If you are, it’s time to lay that at Jesus’ feet. I promise you that you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing so.
Remember that “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Repeat that to yourself over and over again when you are tempted to reenter the prison of want and then imagine the freedom you’ll feel when your want begins to lessen, and your blessings begin to multiply.
That’s exactly what the Shepherd does, gives you freedom from your wants, and makes sure you lack for nothing