One of the areas where God is continually strengthening my faith is in the area of provision. All too easily, I can operate with a scarcity mindset where I look at what I have and easily believe that this is it. Once this is gone there will be no more.
In those moments and seasons, I grow fearful anticipating that our car will break down, or that our house will need a major repair, or that some unexpected major bill will arrive in the mail. I create this strange narrative in my head that our family is one small step away from total financial collapse.
The funny thing about this strange narrative is that I have no experiences in my adult life where this has proven to be true. Not that we haven't been through seasons where money has been tight or where major expenses have unexpectedly put us in a tough spot. We definitely have had those experiences. But what we haven't experienced is coming up short, not having all that we need during those seasons. Even in tough times, we've always had all that we need and then some.
Lately, I have been meditating on the first verse of Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." Specifically, those last three words. "I lack nothing."
The scarcity narrative often comes from faulty thinking about God. Either that God isn't good - He knows what we need, but has decided to simply withhold it from us. Or that God isn't powerful enough - He looks down and sees our need and feels bad that we're in a tough situation, but can't do anything about it. Or lastly, He's absent-minded and has completely forgotten about us - there are other people who are more interesting or more important to Him than we are and we've fallen off His radar completely. Ultimately, the scarcity narrative comes from wrong belief.
The scarcity narrative usually is a result of not tending to my own soul or allowing God space to shepherd it. It usually comes from trying to take matters into my own hands. It comes from a belief of, "Well, if God isn't going to do anything about this, I sure will." Rather than from a posture of trusting God to provide me with everything I need right when I need it.
What tends to pull me out of the scarcity narrative is recognizing and thanking God for the ways He has already given us good things. It's noticing and focusing on all that we do have, rather than what we don't. And when I do that, Psalm 23 tends to take root in my life. I start to see lush green pastures, where before they were sparse and colored brown. I see and hear the babbling of a cool stream where before it was a dried-up river bed. My soul is calm and restored where before it was restless and in turmoil.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. And I bet if you were to take the time and notice all that you have been given, you would see that you lack nothing as well.