Ruth Graham begins Chapter 7 (“Rest in His Peace”) of Fear Not Tomorrow by retelling a story that illustrates the characteristics of God’s peace.
A man decided to hold an art contest to find the painting that would create the best depiction of peace. Numerous paintings were unveiled, until finally only 2 were left. The first painting was of a calm, serene lake reflecting the red tones of sunset. Sheep grazed nearby. Surely, the crowd thought, this painting would be the winner.
Then the final painting was displayed. It showed a gigantic waterfall cascading down the face of a cliff. Threatening storm clouds hovered overhead. However, at the edge of the falls stood a small tree, in which a tiny bird had built a nest and was resting on her eggs. That painting was the winner.
Ruth believes this story describes 3 aspects of peace:
1. Peace is not accomplished through our own actions: if only (fill in the blank) I would have peace.
2. Peace isn’t necessarily related to our circumstances and isn’t dependent on external factors that are beyond our control.
3. Peace is something we carry inside of us, just as Jesus did. As Ruth tells us someone once said, “Peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the absence of internal conflict.”