by Cris Corzine-McCloskey
There is a scripture in Philippians 4:19 that promises us that God is supplying all our needs according to His glorious riches. As a Bible purist, I tend to take God at His word. Recently, after someone close hurt me deeply, I went to God, pointed to that scripture, and told Him I ‘needed’ an apology from the offender. A few days went by without that apology. I went to God to figure out why His promise had not worked. He showed me that while I ‘felt’ I needed an apology, what I really needed was the grace to forgive them without their apology, and He was supplying that grace. I forgave the individual, and learned a big lesson on the difference between real needs and felt needs in God’s economy.
A classic example of this is found in Psalm 23:1. David wrote this well-known stanza: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in need (or want, depending on your translation). We are so familiar with this verse that we rarely stop to think about it. As a therapist, I know human nature, and as I read that verse, I do not believe David was having a good day. I picture him alone in a field, watching his sheep, feeling very alienated and lonely. So what does he do? He did not whine to God and tell God what he needed. Instead, he began reminding himself that no matter what he felt, God was richly supplying all of his needs.
David then listed in the remainder of Psalm 23 what our real needs are, and how God is supplying them. We need the ability to rest from worry and live in peace. We need our strength renewed. We need leading along the right paths, protected and comforted. We need the ability to be fearless in the face of our enemy and to be anointed with God’s blessings. Most of all, we need God’s presence. Those are our needs, and God supplies them. Moreover, Psalm 23 goes on to tell us that God’s goodness and unfailing love hunt us down, and with God, get assured of eternal life. Dang!! I don’t know about you, but I think that list is pretty impressive!
Not included on that list is the need for my husband to tell me I look good in my new dress. I also don’t need the praise and esteem of others. I do not need anyone to help me clean the house. I want those things (especially the house cleaning one!), but I do not need those things. What I truly need is to learn to give the grace I receive from God out to others in their weaknesses. God does not want me to look around and feel needy, but instead, to see the endless supply of His grace to help me in every situation I come across. Next time I will show you how to apply this concept to your daily life so you, like David, can begin to boast that the Lord is your Shepherd, and you are not in need!