top of page
  • BSideBecca

I Shall Not Want: what a grocery budget challenge teaches me about God

Tuna salad sandwich, applesauce and cottage cheese were for lunch today. Mainly because it's September. "What does September have to do with it?" you may ask. Well, a blogger I follow does a challenge each September where you cook from your pantry and freezer shelves with only a very minimal grocery budget allotted for fresh fruits and veggies and perishables. And, me being extremely competitive, therefore up for a good challenge (and a good Cubs win!), I always join in from my own little household. Typically, I feed anywhere between 2 and 7 people, depending on the day. The challenge helps me take stock of what we do have and uses up the cans of green beans and half empty bags of chocolate chips as it stretches my creativity in using what we have on hand. I like the reminder of stopping myself in this age of instant-ordering, instant-delivery and instant-gratification to take note of what we already have and to be grateful for it. It's an act of self-discipline I find beneficial on multiple levels.

We're almost halfway through the month and I've enjoyed seeing what I can come up with...we'll see how I feel about that statement by the time we get to the 30th! By the end of the month, cravings for specific foods set in, and the meals tend to get a bit unique as I present Gourmet Surprise Oh Wow What Is That Meat On the Bottom of the Freezer Dinner. __________________________________________

Thinking about opening my cupboards and seeing if I have what I need for a meal (or 20...?) made me think about Psalm 23.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

I have to be honest, when I see the phrase Psalm 23:1, “I shall not want”, I feel a little guilty. In my humanity, I question it: Um…. God? For “Not wanting”, I sure do… want a lot. Pretty sure You’ve seen my Amazon cart?

Not only do I want THINGS, I want my friend to not be sick. I want my kids to be "happy." I want a satisfying purpose in life. I want to be understood by others.

But I also WANT to say this phrase from Psalm 23 with all confidence along with David.

The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want.

In my want, I feel like I'm standing in front of a cupboard trying to formulate some sort of meal plan for a filling life, looking at what God’s provided, not being satisfied and thinking I need more or that it isn't enough.

I believe I feel this way because I so easily forget the causal relationship between the two phrases: I shall not want beCAUSE the Lord is my shepherd. There’s a connection. David is using the "same term Moses used in Deuteronomy 2:7, where Moses declared, 'These forty years Yahweh your God was with you. You did not lack a thing.'" (Hamilton 295). And if the God of the universe is MY shepherd, I, too, have to look at it on another level. Not only the physical, temporary level of earth, but an eternal, spiritual level. "Those whom Yahweh shepherds will be led to the place where all God's promises are realized, all needs met, and all fears gone" (Hamilton 296). Words like mercy, peace, justified - being made right with God -and grace come to mind. All things that satisfy a deep lack in my humanity and the most basic need of all: communion with God as I am made right with Him. And if I have that? It satisfies so that I do not want. "The Lord, as often in the Psalms, occupies here the first and emphatic place, and the my reveals a pledged relationship which dares to link the Lord (is)...with the incongruous I shall... Everything in the psalm flows from that" (Kidner 127).

A packet of tuna salad forgotten at the back of the cupboard met my lunchtime needs today. And it reminds me of my Good Shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 2 Peter 1:3-4


This past summer I looked at the topic of prayer, this fall I'll be doing a study in Psalms. I began a personal study of Psalms back last year, but will now continue it here on the blog! Wanna join me? I've included names of books I'm using to study the Psalms, and hope to include a worksheet or two along the way to help with understanding the book of the Psalms a bit better.

Wanna encourage me? Do the following:

Follow me on Instagram: BSideBecca

Follow me on Facebook: BSideBecca

Books I'm Using to Study Psalms:

My favorite basic commentary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament by Walvoord and Zuck.

Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis. I read this years ago and have restarted it. It's readable, accessible and a basic overview of the Psalms.

Psalms 1-72: Kidner Classic Commentaries by Derek Kidner. Honestly, I'm not super familiar with this, but had it recommended to me. So I'm giving it a try! I'll update as I go! (There's obviously a second volume, I just haven't gotten to it yet.)

Psalms: Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary by James M Hamilton Jr. Again, I'm not familiar with this author, but had it recommended. Will update as I go. His name sounds official and like he's a good author, anyway. (That was a joke. You can laugh.)

Here's where to start to read the blogs on Prayer if you missed them:

Spotify Playlist to some unique Christian music that doesn't sound like the same 4/4 pablum:

1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

1 komentarz

12 wrz 2023

I shall not want your green beans and chocolate chips recipe! ;)

bottom of page