Many years ago there was a painting competition with ‘peace’ as its theme. After the entries had been assessed, three reached the finals.
One picture showed a lush meadow with a willow dangling its branches in a stream. There were a few wispy clouds in the blue sky. It was a picture of calm. The second picture showed a small yacht sailing gently in the breeze on a still sea. There were a few gulls in the sky. Nothing marred the tranquility of the scene.
The prize, however, was not won by either of these but by a very different picture. It showed a stark and steep cliff face lashed by rain and waves from a wild ocean and battered by howling winds under an ominous sky. In the cliff face was a small crevice with a bird’s nest. The bird could be seen sitting safely in its nest seemingly watching the formidable storm.
The first two pictures depict peace that the world gives. It is a peace created by calm and tranquil surroundings with no jarring note. The peace of Jesus, however, is a deep security in the midst of a raging storm of life. It is a deep knowing that, however fearful the circumstances, the presence of Jesus is more than enough.
How do we experience this peace? It is not something we can pull out of our pockets when trouble threatens. It is something that grows as our relationship with Jesus deepens. The more we learn to walk with, obey and trust Jesus, the more we will be able to draw on His peace.
Prayer: Father, thank You for your gift of peace. Please help me to grow in my relationship with You so that I can be secure in You. Thank You that I can experience Your peace when everything around me seems to be falling apart. Amen.
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