The Lord Is My Shepherd

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The Lord Is My Shepherd
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: 
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For Thou art with me…” ~Psalm 23:1-4

Several years ago I came down with a simple virus. I thought it would go away in a few days, for I had always been a very healthy person. But after a week my symptoms only grew more alarming and by the end of the month they became debilitating.

I went from a healthy active person who walked 6 miles a day, to a person who could no longer walk, use my hands, or even see to read, write or draw, for my eye muscles would go into spasms if I tried to read anything. I had to stay still in a dark room and be quiet.

This was unbearable to me for I had been so used to being active.

As a working visual artist who drew almost constantly, being unable to use my hands was like being imprisoned in my body.

I was terrified for I did not know if the illness was permanent, or even what the illness was.

Nor did my doctors. They ran numerous tests on me for every horrible disease they could think of.

I was filled with fear and anxiety.

 “Lord, why is this happening? Did I grieve you somehow?”

I prayed constantly and confessed every sin I could think of –and then some, because I was certain I had done some terrible thing to make God mad at me for allowing me to become so ill and lose so many abilities. All I had ever wanted to do was glorify Him.

Now all I could do was sit in silence before Him and weep. My head hurt constantly from migraines.

I listened to audio bibles and sermons and this comforted me tremendously.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:92 “Lord, unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction.”

During my time alone with the Lord, I grew very close to Him. There is nothing like suffering and affliction to draw you closer to God. He spoke to my heart. He promised to heal me. I clung to His promise.

God’s word promises that “all things work together for good to those who love God” in Romans 8:28. I treasured all of the promises in His word trusting that all would be well, for God had never failed me. 

All my life I had known Him to be faithful, just as His word says in Psalm 36:5 “Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.”

After many tests the doctors determined that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia~ auto-immune illnesses caused by the Epstein Barre virus.

It took 4 months of physical therapy before I could use my hands again to draw, paint, and write. After about a year I was able to walk almost a mile.

The second painting I did after I regained the use of my hands was a watercolor inspired by Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd.” 

The painting shows the Good Shepherd, Jesus, His face strong and steady in the

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The Lord Is My Shepherd Encouraging Card @ Wings Publications on Etsy

midst of a dark, blinding storm. His glowing clothes are billowing all about Him as He presses forward with nothing and no one able to stop Him or His purpose for the little one He has charge over. His frightened little child is crouching close behind Him to escape the blast of the stormy tempest. 

The Lord is the child’s Shield, his Shelter, and Defender. The child clings to the Lord, as Christ leads Him through the Dark Valley of the Shadow; they are as one, they are so close together.

This image truly reflects my experience with my Lord Jesus ~ He was my Good Shepherd throughout my illness and never once failed me through my crisis of fear, worry, doubt, anxiety, weakness, and pain. He led me all the way through that horrible storm and encouraged me with His word, His love, and His presence. 

The Gospel of John says that Jesus is the true light and “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” ~John 1:5

I experienced the truth of that scripture through my affliction.  And the painting is my expression of its truth.

I had my painting printed and made into an Encouraging Card, which I sell in our Etsy Shop.

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The Lord Is My Shepherd Encouraging Card at Wings Publications on Etsy

The card is like a mini version of my painting. On the front of this card is the verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd…I will fear no evil, for You are with me.” Psalm 23:1,4 (Updated King James Version Bible) On the back of the card, Psalm 23 is printed along with a vignette of the cover illustration. 

 This card has comforted many people through many trials. So I am thankful that the Lord allowed me to experience the terrible affliction that led me to be able to paint the picture. For I would never have been able to paint it had I not experienced the suffering, fear, comfort and faith all found in that image. 

 The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus Christ to be our Good Shepherd to guide us down the path of righteousness, truth, and grace that we might live with You in peace forever. We love You, In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

 

Forget Not


FORGET NOT

Psalm 103:2 says “Bless the Lord, oh my soul and forget not all His benefits…” 
When I looked up the original word for “forget” in the Strong’s concordance, it means to “mislay, cease to care, cause to forget…” 

How often, how easy it is to cease to care, to mislay, to forget, to take for granted even the smallest of God’s blessings. 

But the simple fact is, what wonderful blessing we enjoy today we might not have tomorrow. How very important it is to be thankful for what we do have today, right now, this very moment. There is always something to be thankful for!

I suffer from chronic migraines and from day to day I do not know how they will affect me. 

As an artist, musician, and writer I have to just trust Jesus that all will be well. 

The other day I lost the use of my left hand for about 18 hours. 

I never know if I will ever regain what I lose during a severe migraine but when it happens I run to Jesus and thank Him for what I do have and trust Him that I am safe in His hands. 

He has never failed me. Thankfully, by the next evening the Lord restored my left hand and I was back to playing my piano as before and doing all the myriad things I daily do with that important hand. 

Psalm 103 goes on ” …who forgives all our sins, who heals all our diseases..” I praise and thank the Lord Jesus Christ today who is the forgiver of all my sins and who heals me every day!

We serve an Awesome God! 

Prayer
Heavenly Father, may I never forget all the wonderful gifts and blessings You shower down upon me each day. For even my very life is a gift from You. Help me not take for granted even the smallest blessing, a gift that perhaps another never had or no longer enjoys due to illness, age, an accident, or for whatever reason. 

Help me realize that all things in this life are temporary, for Thy word declares that this world is passing away. Engrave upon my heart that the one thing we can always count on and forever be thankful for is that You will never pass away, You will abide forever and will never leave or forsake us.

Thank You, Lord, I love You, in Jesus’ name, amen. 


Angelsong © 2016 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Collage Paintings by Suzanne Davis Harden 

A Healing Prayer

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A Prayer For All Who Need Healing

 Heavenly Father, please bless all those who are suffering and need healing today, whether in their body, mind, or soul.

Thy word promises “God sent His word and healed them and delivered them…”

King David wrote, “O Lord my God, I cried out to You, and You healed me.”

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Thank You, Lord, that You love each one of us as if we are the only child You have to love.

You dwell in our heart so You feel our pain.

Thy word says, “You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul.”

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Lord, send rivers of peace and hope to all who are chronically ill, suffering pain and are discouraged physically, spiritually, or emotionally.

May You strengthen and encourage each of Thy precious children today.

May they know that though they have endured a long, difficult night of weeping, they will see a bright new morning come soon, with joy from the streams of Heaven that none can take from their hearts.

For Thy word promises, “Though weeping endures for a night, joy comes in the morning.”

May You give them grace to bear what they cannot in their own strength bear.

Thank You, Lord, for all who are praying this prayer today.

May they know how much You love and value them. May they feel You holding them in Your everlasting arms of love and mercy. May they know that suffering and affliction do not mean that You no longer love us. For Thy own Son suffered when He lived on this earth. “He was a man of sorrows and acquainted  with grief,” Thy word says.

Thy word says that we suffer now so that our faith may be refined, but that someday You will wipe all our tears away and we will suffer no more.

Lord, we praise You for Your wonderful promises and for Thy word that says You keep every promise forever. (Psalm 146:6)

Thank You that though we may suffer for a season, You will never leave or forsake us. And there is an end to all our trials. For Thy word promises, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

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Thank You that You are going to deliver Thy suffering children who are asking for healing miracles.

Thank You for hearing and answering this prayer.

I love You.

In Jesus’ mighty name, amen and amen.

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Angelsong~  A Healing Prayer  2016 Suzanne Davis Harden/ Scripture Pictures by SD Harden/ Bible Verses: King James Version, New King James Version©, New International Version©, New Living Translation ©

 

Lord, Help Me Wait

  “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” ~Psalm 27:14

Lord, help me to wait on You, to trust in You, and be patient.

For Thy word promises that “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Help me remember when times are tough that You have never failed me before and You never will. For Thy word promises “God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you.” ~ (Hebrews 13:5)

Help me to walk by faith and to never lose hope, but to always believe in Thy beautiful promise:“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” ~ (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Lord, thank You for all of the beautiful promises You give us to encourage us from Thy holy word. 

Help us to treasure them in our hearts and live by them. 

For Thy word assures us, “God keeps every promise forever.” ~Psalm 146:6 (NLT) 

I love You, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

I Will Wait For The Lord

God Keeps Every Promise Forever