Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:1
A wealthy man wanted to have a painting that captured the ultimate picture of peace. Many artists entered their paintings. They all made noble attempts at putting down on canvass what peace really was. Some featured a mirror-smooth lake. Others featured quiet trees under a soft, evening sky. Still others featured a grassy meadow where a flock of sheep grazed undisturbed.
The winning picture, however, had none of that. On the contrary, it contained elements that were not peaceful at all. An angry waterfall hurled itself down a rocky cliff. Overhead, dark clouds were beginning to explode with lightning, wind and rain. Everywhere in this picture there were signs of danger, menace, and trouble.
But there was something else. Near the middle of the picture, a small, frail tree clung to the rocks at the edge of the falls. One of its branches reached out in front of the falls itself. And there, in the elbow of that single branch, a bird had built a nest. Her little ones were asleep; content and undisturbed under the shelter of her wings.
In this life, peace is not the absence of trouble or turmoil. After all, we live in a fallen, broken world, and by nature you and I are fallen, broken people. Unexpected storms, sudden grief and jarring disappointment will be with us until the day we die.
But there is something else. There is Jesus. There is God’s forgiveness of our sins for the sake of his Son. And along with that forgiveness comes the Lord’s promise to shelter us in every storm, every trouble, every moment of turmoil.
That’s real peace. That’s the only peace that matters. That is the peace under which you and I can rest, content and undisturbed.
Prayer ~ Heavenly Father, through faith in your Son you have given us full forgiveness. You have also sheltered us in every storm. Remind us that, in you, we have nothing to fear. Amen.