Thank You for Your Prayers

 

Suffering For Christ Scripture Painting © SDH

My Dear Friends,

 I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me during the past several months.

You can’t imagine how much your prayers have meant to me during my recent illness.

The Lord knows who you are and I pray that He will give you a crown of glory someday for your faithful intercession.

 One of my medical team remarked when he saw the level of pain I was enduring each day, “Either you must pray a lot or there are a lot of people praying for you.”

“A lot of both!” I told him.

 This medical professional witnessed your faithfulness in prayer and gave glory to God!

 I want you to know that your lives are beautiful blessings to me, to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to all whose lives you touch each day.

 May you know that you have continued to be in my prayers daily. Even though I have not been able to post or visit you for many months now, you have always been in my heart.

 Just before I became so ill with a severe flare up of the auto-immune illnesses that I suffer from, the Lord had given me a beautiful song, “Eye Has Not Seen.”

It was inspired by a beautiful scripture: “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

 The song is about what the Word Of God promises.

Not long before I’d recorded it, a person had written to me that I should not “quote platitudes that were not true.”

 A platitude is a beautiful, usually moral statement, that has been quoted so often it has lost its meaning.

 How could I tell this person that the promises in the Bible were not platitudes~that all of the promises of God in Christ Jesus were true.

I believed this because the Bible said so and I had experienced God’s faithfulness to His Word many times throughout my life. Yet I had no way of convincing anyone of what it takes faith to believe.

 The Word of God reveals that all faith, if it is genuine, must be tested.

 “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 -NLT

 These Scriptures along with many others, teach us that God tests our faith through trials and suffering.

 “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” 1 Peter 4:12-13 NLT

 Our suffering and trials also bond us together with our Lord Jesus in a special way, so we should rejoice in them, Peter wrote.

 Not long after I had written “Eye Has Not Seen” and all of the songs for my Easter Album “Paths Of Grace,” it was as if the Lord took me to “God’s School of Affliction,” and then I literally felt like I had died and gone to hell. 😦

 Many times I felt like Jesus crying out on the cross, “My God, my God, Why hast Thou forsaken me!”

The good news is, despite my long dark sojourn in the worst pit of my life (so far) ~ Jesus never failed to comfort me in my pain and agony.

And I have every confidence that He will be with me no matter what nightmare I have yet to endure. God truly IS in control!

For He has taught me through my trials and suffering, that as long as I have Jesus, though I might lose everything else, I have everything when I have Him.

 To have Jesus Christ is to have Heaven right here on earth. Though I may lose my health, possess no wealth, no prosperity, lose my ability to work, live in chronic pain day and night, my Jesus is still with me and He won’t ever leave me. He won’t give up on me.

Though I may be able to do nothing for Him, He still loves me and He will go on loving me because He suffered and died on the cross to ransom me to become His very own. And when I suffer, I am sharing a bond with Him that I would never have known otherwise.

This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” Philippians 1:29

 Again, I can’t thank all who prayed for me enough. You will never know this side of eternity what you mean to me.

 May God bless you all with a thousand reminders of His immeasurable love for you, and meet your every need, in Jesus’ name, amen.

 Thank you, thank you, thank you again for your prayers!!!

Love Always & Forever in Christ,

Suzanne

 Here is the Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” May the Lord use this song and video to bless and encourage you today!

Original Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” © ℗ 2018 SD Harden All rights reserved. All Glory to God.

Angel Song © 2018 Suzanne Davis Harden All Rights Reserved. Scripture Painting © 2018 SD Harden All Glory To God. Original Music Video “Eye Has Not Seen” © ℗ 2018 SD Harden All rights reserved. All Glory to God. Scripture references: King James version Bible, New Living Translation © 2007 Tyndale House Foundation All Rights Reserved.

 

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

WMJESUS-MY-GOOD-SHEPHERD
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.

WM-GOOD-SHEPHERD-(1)
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.