When my ophthalmologist says, “Be still,” I am still. I don’t argue. I don’t become defiant. I don’t stay busy behind his back. Why? Because he is a renowned eye surgeon who is trying to preserve my sight, and he needs my cooperation. I would be foolish to ignore his instructions.
So why am I not as cooperative in matters of spiritual stillness? God considers rest so important that He built it into the rhythm of life. Without rest we can’t see clearly; we begin to see ourselves as more important than we are.
After Elijah’s stressful confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel, he ran himself into a state of exhaustion. God sent an angel to care for him. During a time of stillness, “the word of the Lord came to him” (1 Kings 19:9). Elijah thought he alone was doing God’s work. He had been so zealous that he didn’t know that 7,000 others hadn’t bowed to Baal (v.18).
Some of us may fear what will happen if we sit still and stop working. But something worse happens when we refuse to rest. Without rest we cannot be spiritually or physically healthy. God heals while we rest.
Just as I needed stillness so that my eye could heal, we all need stillness so that God can keep our spiritual vision clear.