A Taste of Heaven

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7.

A painting by the father of impressionism, Edvard Munch, has been stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. “The Scream” along with another painting by Munch were stolen by masked robbers while people were touring the museum. “The Scream” is a very well known and valuable painting worth millions of dollars. “The Scream” has an almost expressionless face with the mouth open wide and with the nose and eyes barely visible. The eyes appear to be staring and the hands in the painting are held up beside the head in what appears to be a position of terror.

Looking at a photo of this painting, it occurred to me that the intention of the artist was to convey the almost exact opposite of “peace”. If you were to trying to convey the meaning of “peace” in a painting how would you do it? There is a story about a king who wanted such a painting and so he offered to give a prize to the artist if he chose their painting. Many artists tried to paint a picture of “peace”. However, the king finally decided that he would choose between just two paintings.

The first painting was in a beautiful setting with a lake that was so calm it was like a mirror reflecting the beauty of the mountains surrounding the lake. Above in the sky were white fluffy clouds that added to the peaceful scene.

The second painting also had mountains, water, and clouds. However, the mountains were dark and brooding. The clouds were storm clouds and the water was a roaring waterfall. What did this have to do with “peace”? According to the story, the artist included a small bush that had somehow grown out of the waterfall. In the bush there was a bird’s nest and a mother bird calmly setting on her eggs even though the waterfall was raging and storm clouds were approaching. This was the painting that won the king’s prize. It is also a painting that perhaps comes as closely as possible to portraying the promise of Philippians 4:7 of a “peace” that “surpasses all understanding”.

You and I may not be able to paint such a scene but we know peace when we experience it. I still remember the day I received Christ Jesus as my Savior. It was the day a peace treaty was in effect established between God and me. It was made possible through the blood of Jesus Christ, which was shed for you and me on the cross. At the moment I received Jesus as my Savior I experienced a peace that I had never known before. My sins were washed away and put as far as the east is from the west.

We also can experience this kind of peace when everything is going wrong in our lives or tragedy has struck. We can experience “peace” that “surpasses all understanding” when we follow the instructions given in Philippians 4. Even when the storm is raging we will find that God is true to His promise and He will give us peace which is beyond our comprehension, which is beyond our understanding, and beyond anything of this world. I believe that “peace” that God gives us during those times is just a tiny little taste of what Heaven will be like.

So, the next time the storm is raging in your life; allow God to give you a little taste of Heaven – pour out to God your needs, and the hurt, and the anxiety, and the impossible situation you have found yourself to be in. It may be impossible to our minds but it is far from impossible for our God. Allow Him to sustain you through His “peace” which “surpasses all understanding”.

(In the midst of the storm God can give you a taste of Heaven.)

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