“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” – John 14:27
I was reminded recently of the story of an art contest years ago in which artists were asked to submit paintings depicting perfect peace. There were many entries of quiet rural scenes, reading by the fireplace, mirror-calm waters, and couples hand-in-hand. But one was different. It portrayed a wild storm, winds blowing, trees bending. Almost unseen, near the trunk of a tree with branches swaying, was a tiny bird sitting serenely on her nest with her wings covering her fledglings. That one took the prize.
It’s relatively easy to experience peace when life is going our way, when the days are sunny, and everything is in order. The real test of our peace is when our world seems to be falling apart and the storms rage.
Are you in the middle of a storm right now? I am.
Where do we go when it’s scary, unpredictable, and fierce? We go to God’s promises, like this one: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
We need to intentionally let go of anxiety, pray sincerely (many times a day when the storm is furious), and trust God’s peace will wash over us and fill us as he carries us through.
“If God be our God, He will give us peace in trouble. When there is a storm without, He will make peace within. The world can create trouble in peace, but God can create peace in trouble.” – Thomas Watson