‘I Nothing Lack’

A post from my friend Elizabeth Howell. 

A simple song lyric that is a great challenge and comfort to me is the first stanza of Henry W. Baker’s “The King of Love My Shepherd Is,” written in 1868.

The King of love my Shepherd is

Whose goodness faileth never

I nothing lack if I am His

And He is mine forever

It is convicting to ask myself how much I really believe this. I lack nothing? Really? Nothing? This does not mean that I have no lack of virtue, but rather that I lack no spiritual blessing, no emotional support, no closest confidant, and no possession. Let’s remember this when we are lonely for old friends, or wishing for a spouse or for a better this or a better that. Contentment is not found in circumstances or possessions. If I am discontent without something, I will be discontent with it.

The song is based on Psalm 23. Read it as a whole; take a few moments to absorb what it is saying about we as lost sheep, and the care of our loving Shepherd.

The King of love my Shepherd is,

Whose goodness faileth never,

I nothing lack if I am His

And He is mine forever. 

Where streams of living water flow

My ransomed soul He leadeth,

And where the verdant pastures grow,

With food celestial feedeth. 

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,

But yet in love He sought me,

And on His shoulder gently laid,

And home, rejoicing, brought me. 

In death’s dark vale I fear no ill

With Thee, dear Lord, beside me;

Thy rod and staff my comfort still,

Thy cross before to guide me.

Thou spread’st a table in my sight;

Thy unction grace bestoweth;

And O what transport of delight

From Thy pure chalice floweth!

And so through all the length of days

Thy goodness faileth never;

Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise

Within Thy house forever.


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