Sparrows and Lilies

I love peace.
Peace and quiet. World peace. Peace signs. A piece of cake….Oh, wait.
And I like to believe that I’ll gain this sought after tranquility when every square inch of my life is in order.
When the work is finished. When my to-do list is checked off.
When I’m sitting on the beach, listening to waves, sipping on a cup of tea.
Yeah, I’ll take a piece of that.

But what happens when the work is not finished? What happens when my to-do list is left unchecked? What if my very best effort and all my spare time is not enough to accomplish what needs to be done?
Can I find peace in that?

Joyce Meyer, a woman I’ve grown to cherish, whose words have quieted my anxious thoughts and led me to Jesus’ cross time and time again, says yes.
She says yes.
In one of her books, she describes two paintings in which the artists were asked to paint “peace.” One of the paintings portrayed a scenic mounting view, complete with a glassy, smooth lake. The other, however, displayed a “raging, rushing waterfall.” On a branch that hung in front of the waterfall rested a bird in its nest.
She asks, “Which one truly depicts peace?”
The peace of Christ. The peace that passes all understanding. The peace Jesus gives His disciples, not ever something this world could dare offer.
That peace belongs to the second painting.

Dependent, confident rest in the middle of chaos.

Sweet friends, that is the peace that is ours for the keeping in Christ.

In Luke 12 we find Jesus preaching a parable on worry.
The Message version says this,

“Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.”

“Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don’t fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it….If God gives such attention to the wildflowers, most of them never even seen, don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you?”

I love this parable. I was reading it one morning on my back porch while observing the birds in my backyard trees. Have you ever watched how they fly about from branch to branch, singing melodies as they go?
Jesus’ promise of peace means that we can live even more carefree than that.
Jesus’ promise of peace means that we can live like that bird resting in its nest in front of the waterfall.
Resting with confidence and dependence in the midst of chaos, knowing that our Savior values us even more than the birds. Even more than the wildflowers.
And if He provides even for them, how much more will He provide for His own children?

When you ache from the weight of fear and you long for peace, remember that “He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, and do His best for you.”
Remember those words, those promises, and rest in them. The Lord, God over the birds and the flowers, is God over your very life. A life that He loves. Saved. And is using for His beautiful purposes.

And, my friends, that is the promise that brings true peace, peace that will sustain you.
That is the peace that will quiet your weary soul.

And maybe a piece of cake, too.