I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
Words: Charles F. Deems, 1872.
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[This hymn] was written in 1872 while the author was pastor of the Church of the Strangers in New York City. One night after going to bed he found that the cares of the young Church followed him and depressed him. It seemed to make demands which he could not meet.
To comfort himself, he began to repeat consoling passages of Scripture. Then occurred to him the twenty-third Psalm. He repeated over and over:I shall not want.It began to run into stanzas, and he feel asleep upon finishing the fourth. Next morning it was so vivid that he wrote it out.
Nutter, p. 229
I shall not want: in deserts wild
Thou spread’st Thy table for Thy child;
While grace in streams for thirsting souls,
Thro’ earth and Heaven forever rolls.
I shall not want: my darkest night
Thy loving smile shall fill with light;
While promises around me bloom,
And cheer me with divine perfume.
I shall not want: Thy righteousness
My soul shall clothe with glorious dress;
My blood-washed robe shall be more fair
Than garments kings or angels wear.
I shall not want: whate’er is good,
Of daily bread or angels’ food,
Shall to my Father’s child be sure,
So long as earth and Heaven endure.