• Mount Tabor UMC

Devotional for December 22

‘I’ve got peace like a river”

“Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me”

When my children were small and anyone would ask me what I wanted for Christmas, my answer would most always be, “Peace and quiet”. And when the Calgon commercial came on TV and the female in the commercial said, “Calgon, take me away”, I knew exactly what she meant. In today’s world there is so much noise, chaos, hostility, brokenness and anxiety. I need a reminder about what peace really is, today, as much as I did years ago when my children were young.

I go to the word and read the many Scriptures about peace. Hebrews says in 12:14 (NLT), “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” Proverbs 16:7 (NLT) says, “When people’s lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.” And from Isaiah 26:3 (NLT), one of my favorites, “ You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

I found a story recently on www.alltimeshortstories.com that explains the meaning of peace through Christ Jesus most vividly: “Peace doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no noise or adversity. It means to be in the midst of all those and still feel calm in your heart. There once lived a king who announced to prize the artist who would paint the best painting depicting peace. Many great painters sent the king several of their best art pieces. One of the pictures among the various masterpieces was of a calm lake, perfectly mirroring peacefully towering snow-capped

mountains. Overhead was a blue clear sky with fluffy clouds. The picture was perfect. Most of the people who viewed the pictures of peace from various artists thought that it was the best among all. “But when the king announced the winner, everyone was shocked. The picture which won the prize had a mountain, too, but it was rugged and bare. The sky looked very angry, and there was lightning. This did not look peaceful at all. It looked as if the artist had mistakenly submitted his painting depicting a storm rather than peace. But if anyone looked closely at the painting, he could see a tiny bush growing in the cracks in the rock. In the bush, a mother bird had built her nest. In the midst of the rush of angry weather, the bird sat on her nest with peace. “Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise or trouble. Peace means to be in the midst of all the chaos and still be calm in the heart. Real peace is the state of mind, not the state of the surroundings. The mother bird at her calmest, despite her chaotic surroundings, indeed was the best representation for peace.”

I leave you with this: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16.

Written by Brenda Wills