At first reading these words from the first line of Psalm 23 could be understood as "wishful thinking" or pie-in-the-sky platitude.
Do we really have all that we need?
I need healing for my new hip and especially for the angry muscles that were stretched and abused during the surgery.
You need things too. You need jobs and meaningful work to pay rent or mortgage. You need food and clothing, shelter and safety, love and relationships in community where loneliness and longing can be shared. Tensions and conflicts need resolution. We all need to be heard and understood and validated as valuable human beings.
The first part of the verse is key to understanding. The psalmist uses a metaphor that can be lost on us who live an urban life. A sheep is dependent upon the care of the Shepherd. The Shepherd sees the sheep, knows them and their needs, protects and defends them from devouring predators, and provides for their needs. When we know ourselves as sheep cared for by the Lord who is Shepherd, we can rest in those green pastures that the psalmist refers to later.
Jesus says that everything we need will come when we seek and surrender to the love and care of the Father, the saving rescue of God's Son, and the comforting, generous presence of God's Spirit. We will still need jobs to pay rent, food and clothing, shelter and safety. But the Shepherd knows the needs of the sheep-- each and every one of them. The Shepherd is a generous provider.
So, we sheep pray: "Shepherd, I need you and I give you my needs. Help me recognize that you are caring for these needs even in the presence of uncertainty, hunger, or failure. Show me what I need to do even as I struggle to trust you with every circumstance. By faith I will say, 'The Lord is my Shepherd. I have everything I need.' In Jesus' name, Amen.