Several years ago I remember viewing a painting, just casually glancing at various items on the internet. The indelible imprint that image had upon my mind is with me to this day. I have used it as an illustration in sermons, shared it’s meaning in attempts to be comforting to hurting folk, and extolled it’s insight to family and friends alike. The painting was entitled “Peace in The Midst of The Storm.” It is one of those paintings one has to study closely to get the full effect … I actually had to do a double (probably a triple) take to realize why it had this title.
The image shows a cliff side, a shear rock face that was jagged and cold looking. A fierce storm with rain in huge amounts, ominous clouds, lightning – the works absolutely hammering everything in sight including the cliff. But, on closer viewing I zeroed in on a bird nestled on a “nest” just under a cleft in the structure. She appeared dry, calm and content to get through all of the “downpour.” With all that was happening around her she seemed – at peace.
It is no great revelation to anyone that storms come in life. Struggles, burdens great and heavy to lift, grief and loss have been compared to the gloom and darkness of bad weather more than once. Yet the truth that glows from this image is undeniable. There is comfort and hope available in distress … depending, like the artist’s bird, on where you are “located.”
Jesus tells the story in Matthew 7 of a wise man who built his house upon a ROCK (the Rock being Christ himself). “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matthew 7:25).
A song puts it like this:
“He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock
that shadows a dry, thirsty land
He hideth my life in the depths of his love
and covers me there with his hand…”
To know Him and be where He – the Rock is … That’s where protection, comfort, safety and peace are found. Peace, in the midst of the storm.