Peace ‘in spite of’

‘YOU WILL EXPERIENCE GOD’S PEACE, WHICH IS FAR MORE WONDERFUL THAN THE HUMAN MIND CAN UNDERSTAND.’ PHILIPPIANS 4:7

Catherine Marshall writes ‘A king once offered a prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many tried, but there were only two the king really liked. One was of a calm lake. It was a perfect mirror for the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. The other picture had mountains too. But they were rugged and bare. Above them was an angry sky from which fell rain, and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountains tumbled a waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked closely he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in spite of the rush of angry water, she sat on her nest; in perfect peace. Which picture do you think won the prize? The king chose the second picture. Why? “Because” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the middle of all these things and still be calm in your heart.”‘

At some point we all discover that there’s no safe harbour free from storms. At that point peace becomes even more special than we’d imagined because peace brings with it: a) the assurance of God’s reality and protection right in the middle of them b) the growth of our faith and character because of them c) God’s solid promise to bring us through situations stronger and wiser.

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