Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thankful Thursday - The Good Shepherd



Painting by Yongsung Kim
If not for the Good Shepherd, I would despair.  Over the last two weeks, I have lost two of my sweet cousins and an aunt. Over the past two months, several friends have died, and we have had several friends and family members receive a terminal diagnosis.

I'm thankful for my Shepherd's tender comfort and care during this dark valley of death.  My quiet times with Him, feeling His presence and hearing His voice have been such a blessing.  The drawing below is a perfect picture of His love and care.  I have it framed, and on a shelf in my living room.  I look at it often, especially at times like these, and remember my Shepherd is carrying me.

source and artist unknown

I often wonder how people can make it without Him.

But, wait...I do remember a time without Him.  I'd gone through a period of my life where none of my prayers were being answered as I expected.  I was up against a wall and I was angry.  Yes, at Him.  I told Him I didn't want to talk to Him any more and I didn't want to read His Word either.

I'll never forget the empty feeling and the darkness in my soul over the next day and night.  I've never felt so alone, so void of comfort.  Not feeling His presence and hearing His voice was more than I could bear.

I begged His forgiveness for turning away from Him.  I accepted His authority in my life even though I didn't understand Him and why He'd allowed such pain by not answering my prayers.


His presence and peace were restored immediately.  My Good Shepherd still loved me. He told me so.  Sweet relief flooded my heart at the sound of His quiet voice.  Oh, the JOY of His love.  I hugged my Bible to my chest like it was a life preserver, because it IS.  The words in that book have carried me through many dark valleys.  His Word is LIFE.

I can't praise Him enough for His love, His presence, and His voice.  These are my treasures, and I am a rich woman.  Filthy rich, Gail-Friends. 

As I look back on that time in my life, I see G-d's wisdom in not answering my prayers.  He had something so much better in mind for me. If He'd answered those prayers the way I wanted, I wouldn't be where I am today.  I wouldn't have found Messianic Judaism and my own personal rabbi (my husband). I've learned to trust His wisdom and His ways.  Today, I can say with my whole, but aching, heart,

"He does all things well"


What are you thankful for this week?

Thankful Thursday is my day to focus on and be thankful for all of the good (and not so good) things in my life.


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6 comments:

  1. Gail, hugs and prayers as you remember your loved ones. Grieving is so hard! No one warned me how completely physically exhausted I would be! -- I am thankful that He walks with us through the valley. May you find rest and restoration at His feet this week.
    Blessings,
    Lyli

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  2. I am sorry for your losses, but I rejoice with you that we have a Good Shepherd who carries us through our sorrows and joys.

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  3. I am very sorry for your losses but glad for your great gain... to be able to say "He does all things well"... Thank you for sharing with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth!

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