Yesterday, I got an email from my dad which includes a video of Audrey Assad singing her song “I Shall Not Want.” I am very glad that I took the time to watch this video because–first–I’ve found a new favorite singer. In fact, I’m listening to her on Spotify right now. But I’ll eventually buy her CD, so I can sing along in the car.
But this is not the only reason I appreciate my dad’s email. Audrey Assad’s song speaks volumes to me, which is why I want to share it with you all. This song deals with how fear holds us back from following God’s purpose for our lives.
I’m the kind of person who is afraid of many things. This is why I particularly remember a Sunday school class in college where we had to go around in a circle and each list off something we were afraid of. The people who went before me said things like “being alone” or “being vulnerable.” The whole time, I was waiting for my turn, wondering what in the world I would say. Was “spiders” an acceptable answer, or was it too common a fear? Should I think of a deeper fear? I sure wasn’t going to list off one of my personal, deep down fears. Not in front of that many people. So when it got to be my turn, I said simply, “I’m afraid of lots of things” and that I couldn’t pick just one to say. And I really am. I can think of several of my fears right now–spiders, snakes, public speaking, driving into oncoming traffic, eating vegetables. I could go on.
My answer pretty much confused everyone. How could I be afraid of that much? Shouldn’t I be strong and courageous? It turns out my answer wasn’t acceptable. I had to list one fear. So, under pressure, I said “I’m afraid of being put on the spot.” That got a good laugh. It was a true answer and not too deep. But I still couldn’t help but be embarrassed. Because I had been put on the spot.
Coming back to the present, the song “I Shall Not Want” makes me realize–just like the Sunday school incident–that I do have many fears. These fears are deep, and they hold me back. Audrey Assad sings about the fear of having nothing, of being lonely, of serving others, and of death and trial. But then she sings, From these fears…
“Deliver Me, O God” (Assad 2013).
This song brought me to tears last night as I lay in bed listening to it. I could relate to EVERY. SINGLE. WORD. Every one of the fears and temptations listed, I have had to deal with. But the good news is that I don’t have to cling to them. I can give them to God every day. He is the only one who can deliver me from them.
The other part of the song–the chorus, I guess it is–says,
“And I shall not want, I shall not want. When I taste your goodness, I shall not want” (Assad 2013).
This reminds me of one of my favorite, well-known, Psalms–Psalms 23, particularly the beginning part.
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Now I’m going to get a bit off track for a second, but I promise I’ll come back.
I really like sheep. You might have realized this from some of my past blog posts. And here’s a recent picture from the zoo, just because, to add proof.
Mostly I like sheep because they go “baaaa” and, when I draw them, they look like little clouds. But also, I can identify with these puffy little creatures. Sheep are goofy, and I’m goofy. Sheep can’t do anything by themselves. And, it seems, that neither can I. Basically, I’m a sheep, in a metaphorical kind of way.
Only the problem here lately is that I’ve only been focusing on the fact that I am a sheep–goofy and can’t seem to get anything right as “I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” But what I should be remembering is that Jesus is my Shepherd, and that I need “fear no evil.” No matter what fears I face, He’s there right along with me. He’s the one in control. And no matter what I have to give up, he’s all I need, and “I shall not want.”
“When I taste your goodness, I shall not want” (Assad 2013).
I know I’ve gone a lot of places during this blog post, but I hope my thoughts haven’t been too scrambled. If nothing else, I hope you’ll enjoy this song as much as I have. Sadly, I can’t add videos to my posts anymore. But I encourage you to go to the link below!
Assad, Audrey. 2013. “I Shall Not Want.” Fortunate Fall. Fortunate Fall Records.