It’s said that true peace of mind is quite rare. A wealthy man, troubled by that, offered a large reward to any artist who could capture and portray peace of mind on canvas.
Artists brought dozens of paintings. The man proclaimed them marvelous works of art, but none met his expectations.
One painting revealed a mirror-smooth lake reflecting birch trees under an evening sky. Sheep grazed contentedly on lush green grass on the shoreline … but the man passed it by.
He came to another painting … he gazed at it and solemnly proclaimed, “This painting portrays peace of mind perfectly!”
The painting revealed a waterfall crashing down a rocky cliff. Dark clouds above released lightning, wind and rain. A small tree grew out of the rocky escarpment. One branch reached out just in front of the roaring waterfall.
In a crook of that small branch, a sparrow had built its nest. There, she sat with her chicks, her wings protecting her little ones, portraying a peace of mind that transcended all of the turmoil and clamour around her.
The Bible addresses peace of mind. Isaiah 48:22 says, “There is no peace for the wicked.” Later in 57:20, he graphically adds, “The wicked are like the troubled sea … whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”
The converse is found in Isaiah 26:3, which states that, “God will keep in perfect peace all who trust in Him, all whose thoughts are fixed on Him!” Then in the epistles, we find that a vital relationship with Christ results in a peace, “that passes all understanding, and keeps your hearts and your minds …” (Philippians 4:7). What a sharp and delightful contrast!
A farmer asked for qualifications from a young man seeking employment. The only thing he said was, “I can sleep through a storm.”
That puzzled the farmer, but he liked him, so he thought he would give him a chance.
A few weeks later, a terrible storm hit in the middle of the night. The farmer shouted for the hired man to wake up, but to no avail. He gave up trying to wake him and ran outside to secure what he could to minimize the damage the storm was sure to produce.
He found the shutters of the farmhouse fastened, logs by the fireplace, corrals closed, and livestock safely stalled in the barns. Tools were all put away and the tractor was in the garage.
All at once, the farmer understood the young man’s words, “I can sleep through a storm.”
He had worked diligently and prepared faithfully so that when the storm did come, he was not concerned or afraid. He could sleep through it; he had peace of mind.
Can you sleep through a storm?
Pastor Ross Helgeton is senior pastor at Evangelical Free Church of Erskine.