A gifted and active Christian woman was stricken with an illness that confined her to bed. On her wall hung a motto, Be Strong— and Work for the Lord, based on 1 Chronicles 28:20. But those words, which used to bring her encouragement and strength, now brought only distress.

A friend recognized her troubled state of mind and read the last part of Numbers 9 to her. She pointed out that during Israel’s wilderness wanderings, they rested whenever the guiding cloud remained over the tabernacle. But when the cloud moved on, they journeyed forward.

The friend then said that there are times when God expects us to move ahead in our work for Him. At other times He expects us to rest. To emphasize her point, she walked over to the wall, took down the first motto, and replaced it with a new one: Be Still, and Know That I Am God (Ps. 46:10).

All of us need to recognize that God in His wisdom not only leads us into service but also provides times of rest. Often we desire the thrill of activity when He knows we will draw closer to Him through peaceful stillness. A real test of consecration is the ability to wait when we prefer to work.