PEACE IN THE STORM


“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, but my loving kindness will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10

Long ago a man sought the perfect picture of peace. Not finding one that satisfied, he announced a contest to produce this masterpiece. The challenge stirred the imagination of artists everywhere, and paintings arrived from far and wide. Finally the great day of revelation arrived. The judges uncovered one peaceful scene after another, while the viewers clapped and cheered.

The tensions grew. Only two pictures remained veiled. As a judge pulled the cover from one, a hush fell over the crowd. A mirror-smooth lake reflected lacy, green birches under the soft blush of the evening sky. Along the grassy shore, a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed. Surely this was the winner. The man who organized the contest uncovered the last painting himself, and the crowd gasped in surprise.  Could this be peace?

A tumultuous waterfall cascaded down a rocky precipice. The crowd could almost feel its cold, penetrating spray. Stormy-gray clouds threatened to explode with lightning, wind and rain. In the midst of the thundering noises and bitter chill, a spindly tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the torrential waters as if foolishly seeking to experience its full power. A little bird had built a nest in the elbow of that branch. Content and undisturbed in her stormy surroundings, she rested on her eggs. With her eyes closed and her wings ready to cover her little ones, she manifested peace that transcends all earthly turmoil.

I rest beneath the Almighty’s shade, My griefs expire, my troubles cease;

Thou, Lord, on whom my soul is stayed, Wilt keep me still in perfect peace. – Charles Wesley

~ Rev. Phill

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