There was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. The King selected two he really liked. One picture was of a calm lake. It was so still it looked like a mirror, with towering mountains around it, with their reflection on the surface of the lake and the clear blue sky shining above.
The other picture had rugged and bare mountains, the sky was cloudy and dark, rain fell, and lightning flashed. Down the side of the mountain was a raging waterfall. As the King looked more closely, he saw behind the waterfall a bush growing from a crack in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest… sitting perfectly at peace.
The King selected the second painting explaining, “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm. That is the real meaning of peace.”
While we might want freedom from stress, anxiety, or worry, I think Jesus is talking about a completely different level of peace. A peace that is rooted in His immeasurable love, a peace that is not connected to the worldly things that we have a tendency to prioritize over God’s will.
The peace that Jesus is telling us about is a unique peace that comes from trusting in God, having faith in His plan for our lives, and having the faith and courage to follow His teachings and continue our journey on the path He has created for us. Jesus wants us to experience peace in the midst of the trials of our lives by trusting Him with our lives and all that is dear to us.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians, Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you.
When you hear Jesus say, “My peace I give you.” What does that mean to you?