Peace in the Midst of the Storm

During a recent church sermon I heard a story about a painting contest promoted by a man who sought the perfect picture of Peace. The artists were told to paint whatever they felt would portray “Peace”. Some artists painted serene landscapes with sunsets and fields of beautiful flowers. Another painted a still quiet lake with a reflection clear as glass.

Each was amazing and beautiful, but when the winner was unveiled, everyone gasped in disbelief. The title of the winning painting was “Peace in the Midst of the Storm”.

peace in the storm

Painting credit Jack E. Dawson

At first glance, the painting looks anything but peaceful. Black clouds and lightning cover the sky. Waves crash down a jagged rocky hillside with raging waters below. How could this be peaceful?

Now take a closer look at the photo. Just beneath the water falls (and just above the river of water) you will notice a bird with her nest of babies tucked underneath the edge of a rock. In the midst of a giant storm, this bird found a sanctuary, a safe place to rest her wings.

A true portrayal of peace.

Can you imagine the bird trying to fly through that storm, crashing into waves, being blown out of control.  Ridiculous right?

Our lives, as we scramble through our days, can be compared to the bird trying to fly through that storm. We fight through traffic. We struggle to get all our tasks done. We become totally stressed over all the “little stuff” that never goes our way.

Now look at the painting again. Just as the bird found refuge under a rock, so can we find refuge in Christ.

Imagine all the troubles in your life being shielded by a rock, feeling just as peaceful as the bird in the painting. Did you know the bible says that the Lord is OUR rock?

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, my horn of salvation, and my high tower.

How amazing!!!!

That means He will shield us and protect us from all the troubles in our life. When we put our faith and trust in the Lord most high, He will guide our steps (Psalm 37:23), heal our wounds (Jeremiah 30:17), and carry our burdens (Psalm 55:22). He will protect us from the storms of life (2 Thessalonians 3:3).

Even if you feel like you are being beaten down by the storm right now, do not lose faith. The bible says (Romans 8:28) that God will work everything out for the good, according to His plan.

What types of storms are you surrounded with today? The storm of finances, health difficulties, relationship troubles, insecurities?

Heavenly Father above, I pray that whomever is reading this today will find refuge in your love, in your Holy power, in your strength and wisdom. No matter what the struggle or storm Lord, I pray that you send your healing hand down from heaven and  create a shield (like that cliff protecting the bird). Touch the heart and mind of everyone involved and create a path to peace. Thank you Lord Jesus, In your name we pray. Amen.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

 This story comes from the book A Wardrobe From the King written by Berit Kjos.  (pp. 45-46).

Credit for the painting goes to Jack E. Dawson. Check out his website and other works of art HERE.

 

Faith During Trials

Welcome to Faith, Farm & Family Table!!

First let me say thank you to all my readers who stuck around during my blogging hiatus. I am slowly working my way back into a routine (and having faith during trials) after dealing with some crazy things in my life.

About two months ago my computer had some major problems, then one thing after another, things went array.  As the saying goes, “when it rains it pours” ….. and it poured!!!

Before the computer crash, I believed I was doing what God had called me to do with my blog. I was enjoying the time I spent writing and sharing. I felt I was making a positive difference in some people’s lives.

In fact, the week I had computer problems, I was nominated for a Bloggers Award and some of my posts had been featured on other websites. I felt accomplished and full of joy.

Unfortunately, all the stress with my computer caused me to question whether I should continue my blog. What if this happens again? Maybe I’m NOT making a difference? Maybe there is something else I should be doing with my time?

As I contemplated whether I should continue with my writing, this scripture came to my heart.

John 10:10 The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy: I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Then it dawned on me!!

Through my blog, I was working for the Kingdom of God, connecting with other Christians, sharing God’s word and sharing how He has worked in my life. I was making a difference. What does the enemy do when he feels threatened by our good works? He tries to steal our peace, causing us to question our purpose. He tries to do ANY thing that will take our minds off Jesus Christ.

Some stressful situations were presented into my life and the enemy just swooped right in whispering negativity into my life. One day I was blogging and believing God for amazing things. The next day I was worried about all the “what if’s” and filled with doubts. I had slipped away from trusting God and having faith during trials.

So today I took a serious look at my life – my crazy, blessed, chaotic life. I decided that I was NOT going to let the enemy steal my peace (or my blog!).

This is where I was two days ago. The temperature was 110 degrees. I sat on the patio and enjoyed this lovely view while I had my morning coffee. The baby quail feeding on berries, the hummingbirds sipping sugar-water, the baby bunnies bouncing in the rocks.

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This is where I am today. The temperature is 45 degrees. My jacket is in our condo 3 hours away and I don’t have any of my winter cloths here. BUT, I have a pot of coffee, a thick bathrobe and a new pair of warm slippers.

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And this is where I will be sometime next year (maybe).

Front yard

Garden Area2

Our cute little farm-house and garden. This is where I will grow fresh food for my family (hence, the reason for Faith, FARM, Family Table), breath in fresh air,  and watch wildlife passing through our yard.

Do you ever those days when you are “here” one minute, “there” the next, and then not sure where you will be tomorrow?

This is my life today! But through it all, I’ve been reminded of a few things.

God is faithful. He has brought me out of hundreds of trials in my life time with His unfailing love. Some of them HUGE. If He could pick me up out of drug addiction (over 10 years now!) and mend my life, surely He can handle anything.

When life becomes overwhelming,  all I need to do is stay connected with God. Regularly (daily, hourly, sometimes minute-by-minute) fill my spirit with the word of God. When the enemy comes to steal my peace, I need to stand strong with God and keep my faith. Turn off the computer, television, and phone. Open my bible and read, pray, then trust God has it all worked out.

He is my rock, my peace and  my wisdom.

The bible says God is strength in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and peace in my confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). He is the helper and upholder of my life (Psalm 54:4) and the provider of ALL my needs (Philippians 4:19).

God IS amazing!

How do you stay connected with God when life throws all its challenges your way?