Peace

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:7

Years ago, two artists competed with each other in an effort to produce a painting depicting peace. The one went up into the mountains, found an idyllic lake away from the clamour and clatter of life, and set about capturing the stillness and silence of the wilderness. The second artist also went up into the mountains, found a roaring waterfall with a gnarled tree partly obscured by the rising spray, and set about capturing the scene. Although beautiful, the turbulent waters certainly weren’t peaceful. But as the painting developed it became evident that the focal point wasn’t the roaring waterfall. In the cleft of a branch, surrounded by what seemed to be frightful danger, a tiny sparrow sat calmly and unperturbedly on her nest.

When it was time to judge their efforts, both artists agreed that the second picture came closest to depicting peace. For the first artist had depicted peace as a state of stillness or silence but the second artist had depicted a more profound peace – a state of serenity in the midst of turbulence.

In a world struggling with terrorism, the uncertainty of financial markets, natural disasters, refugees, AIDS, wars and rumours of wars, it’s comforting to know that peace, like the sparrow on her nest, can be found in the turmoil of trials and trouble. That’s a comforting thought. In the confusion, bewilderment, and perplexity of life you can still be at peace. What’s needed is the right perspective. For even though this world is strewn with blasted lives, broken hearts, and blighted dreams there’s peace if you know where to look. It’s found on a tree, not any tree, just one tree, the tree of Calvary. More specifically, it’s found in the One who hung on the tree at Calvary – God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why not turn to Him today? Recognize that in Jesus Christ there is perfect peace (cf. John 14:27). And choose to receive that peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7.

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