An artist was commissioned by a wealthy man to paint something that would depict peace. After a great deal of thought, the artist painted a beautiful country scene. There were green fields, birds were flying in the blue sky, and a lovely little village lay in a distant valley. The artist gave the picture to the man, but there was a look of disappointment on his face. The man said to the artist, “This isn’t a picture of true peace. It isn’t right. Go back and try again.
The artist went back to his studio, thought for several hours about peace, then went to his canvas and began to paint. When he finished, there was a beautiful picture of a mother, holding a sleeping baby in her arms, smiling lovingly at the child. He thought, surely, this is true peace, and hurried to give the picture to the wealthy man. But again, the wealthy man refused the painting and asked the painter to try again.
The artist returned to his studio. He was discouraged, he was tired, and he was disappointed. Again, he thought, he even prayed for inspiration to paint a picture of true peace. Then, all of a sudden, an idea came. He rushed to the canvas. When he finished, he hurried to the wealthy man. He gave the painting to the man. He studied it carefully for several minutes and said, “Now this is a picture of true peace.” He accepted the painting, paid the artist, and everyone was happy.
And what was this picture of true peace? The painting showed a stormy sea pounding against a cliff. The artist had captured the fury of the wind as it whipped black rain clouds with streaks of lightning. And in the middle of the picture, under a cliff, the artist had painted a small bird, safe and dry in her nest snuggled safely in the rocks. The bird was at peace amidst the storm that raged about her.
In our story for this week, Jesus’ disciples find themselves in the midst of a storm. They had witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion, and now they were gathered together behind closed doors. Fear deprived them of the peace they so desperately needed; fear they would be found by the Jews; fear of what the Jewish leaders were going to do; fear of life without hope, stripped them of any peace.
In the midst of the disciple’s storm, Jesus came and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Jesus imparts the peace the disciples so desperately needed. In the midst of the storm, He is with them, and they had nothing to fear.
Join us on Sunday as we learn how Jesus can give us that same peace in the midst of the storms and trials of life.