January 31

“He giveth quietness.” Job 34:29

“Quietness amid the dash of the storm. We sail the lake with Him still; and as we reach its middle waters, far from land, under midnight skies, suddenly a great storm sweeps down. Earth and hell seem arrayed against us, and each billow threatens to overwhelm. Then He arises from His sleep, and rebukes the winds and the waves; His hand waves benediction and repose over the rage of the tempestuous elements. His voice is heard above the scream of the wind in the cordage and the conflict of the billows, ‘Peace, be still!’ Can you not hear it? And there is instantly a great calm. ‘He giveth quietness.’ Quietness amid the loss of inward consolations. He sometimes withdraws these, because we make too much of them. We are tempted to look at our joy, our ecstasies, our transports, or our visions, with too great complacency. Then love for love’s sake, withdraws them. But, by His grace, He leads us to distinguish between them and Himself. He draws nigh, and whispers the assurance of His presence. Thus an infinite calm comes to keep our heart and mind. ‘He giveth quietness.’” (Streams in the Desert)

Rest and result are not mutually exclusive, despite all popular opinion to the contrary. Stillness appears at odds with a discipline characterized by going and telling. The world is racing toward a precipice of self-destruction, so time is of the essence; why, in the name of all that’s holy, would we retreat from the battle when so many eternal destinies hang in the balance? God placed a premium on restoration from the creation of the world. We are not machines; flesh and blood is created with the need for reflection and refreshment. There is no honor in rushing full bore into burnout; a ruined constitution benefits no one. Without periodic withdrawal, we become jaded with ourselves and those around us. Rest is not an interruption—a detriment to our calling; instead, it fuels strategic investment of personal and divine resources. Do yourself a favor the next time competing voices make it hard to hear yourself think. Stillness is a gift worth savoring often. We are all wounded servants, but there is nothing sacred about pain. Step aside from the fray long enough to heal, and you will find ample strength to press on despite the odds stacked against you.

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