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Sar Shalom (Canvas)

Sar Shalom (Canvas)

Shalom. In essence, peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility. From outward circumstances you ask? Not at all. Israel has rarely experienced outward peace - instead it is an inward rest brought by the presence of the Lord, regardless of what is going on around us. 
When God began hinting that I should paint His Name, Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace), a storm ridden scene was not my first choice. When I initially thought of His title, Sar Shalom, I pictured Psalm 23 pastures and still waters. However, as the world has just recently been sent into pandemic and fear, I couldn't shake the scene of Jesus and His disciples on the stormy seas.
It struck me that no matter what story you read about Jesus and storms, He is either sleeping through them or walking atop the waves. Either depiction offered the most commanding testimony of peace I could think of. (Take 3 2:13) This wasn't an average storm as we might imagine. It was a "seismos" as Mathew described in the Greek. Using this word only two other times in his gospel, once to describe the earthquake after Jesus' death and once to explain the earth shaking after Jesus' resurrection, Matthew truly meant a storm of epic proportions. And Jesus was asleep through it!
I'm sure when Isaiah prophesied that there was a child coming who would one day be our Prince of Peace, he may not have predicted this scene either (Isaiah 9:6). The disciples certainly didn't. They panicked and they were confused - now that they were with the Messiah, they probably assumed they would never experience hardship again, right? Here, they are on the brink of drowning multiple times and Jesus is not immediately delivering them from the tempest and even has the audacity to ask them why they are afraid! 
In my share of storms that God has led me through, I have oftentimes lost sight of Jesus in the midst of the raging circumstances, emotions and pain surrounding me. Fear grips me and I am sinking fast. It is then I realize I have a choice - focus on the breakers and billows that threaten to undo me, or fix my gaze on the One who is enthroned above each furious gale. One is loud and relentless, the other full of authority and confident tranquility. One is merciless, the other full of abundanct mercy. One rends, the other mends. One destroys, the other promises complete restoration.
Will you join me in fixing our gaze on the One who already reigns victorious over the circumstances we face every day? Take courage my friend, and know that our Prince of Peace will deliver you and most importantly transform you to look more like Him through each trial!
As Corrie Ten Boom wisely said after facing us so many storms of her own : 
“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed. If you look within, you’ll be depressed. But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”
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