I am by no means an art critic or for that matter able to draw much more than a stick figure. I did learn about vanishing point and can draw a barn and some trees but that is about it. The extent of my appreciating art goes to once visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s Museum in Santa Fe New Mexico. I don’t remember any of her pantings and there are very few famous paintings that I would recognize except for The Last Supper, The Mona Lisa, maybe The Starry Night and the melting clock one by Dali (no clue what it is called). There is one painting that does stand out to me though, mostly this painting is known because it has been used many many times as a sermon illustration. It is called “Peace in the Midst of the Storm” and was done by Jack E. Dawson. I have placed an image of it below.
The story is told that someone wanted the perfect picture of peace and so he held a contest and asked painters to paint their picture of peace. As you can imagine there were pictures of sunsets, mountains, flowers, things we associate with peace. Dawson however took a completely different route. As you can see below his painting involved dark colors showing a storm, high leaning jagged rocks, a rough flowing out of control waterfall a river below, and small trees being whipped by the wind. One looks at it and instantly thinks of anything but peace. However in the middle about a third of the way up is a bird sitting on a nest in a hollowed out area of the rocks.
What a wonderful picture of peace. Even when life is throwing all it can at this bird it sits quietly and peacefully safe and secure in the rocks protection. The painting makes me think of a common passage found in…
Psalm 18:2 “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
The verse doesn’t even mention the word peace in it but when we see God as we should and the way verse 2 describes Him we can have a peace that is greater than anything this world can do to allow us to live at peace. When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and He is our LORD and rock, our fortress and deliverer, when He is who we take refuge in we can be at peace even as we go through the storms of life.
I once read that for a Christians peace is “quietness God gives you in your heart even when you are in the middle of a trial.” Even though we go through hurts, hard times, loss, tragedy and suffering we can know that God is in control. We can rest assured that He will deliver us through it. Sometimes the deliverance doesn’t come in ways we should choose or that we understand but it does come. It comes because in the end if we are saved we have the peace of knowing that our salvation is secure in Him and our eternity rests in Him. No matter what this life throws at us, even death, we can have peace knowing that when God is our Rock we have nothing to fear!