One of my greatest struggles has been the element of hiddenness. I’m beginning to understand that it is by divine grace I am hidden from public view, awaiting God’s perfect time. God alone knows when that time is. Then He will bring me from hiding.
Have you ever felt like a butterfly trapped in a chrysalis? Or a chick concealed beneath a hardened shell?
Perhaps, those in the public forum wish they possessed such covering. For many Christians, they work for the kingdom like secret service agents. Though their names and faces go unrecognized by the masses, they have profound impact.
I am like a mustard seed in this vast field!
Hiddenness performs godly purpose. Is God’s hiding of His servants part of a more excellent plan?
God refined Joseph in the darkness of a foreign prison for “the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:21). Moses’ parents hid their new baby in a basket; forty years later God removed him to a desert no-man’s-land (Ex. 2:1-2). Here he “incubated” in obscurity for another 40 years awaiting God’s perfect time. After being anointed as the next king, David spent 15 years inhabiting caves to allude his demon-possessed tormentor (1 Sam. 21-23).
All hidden for godly purposes!
This is only a snippet of the long list of concealed ones — hidden, awaiting God’s perfect time of exposure. Although frustrating by human perspective, God often orchestrates these seasons to bring out the best in us. God is good — immeasurably good. Everything He does flows out His goodness.
Jesus, Himself, spent 30 years in relative obscurity before three short years of ministry.
Often God establishes secret places for protection, guarding His servants from harm.
“For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.”
Here “hiding” illustrates the concealing of something of great value — keeping it secret and hidden. David recognized the dual function of this secret place — safe from man while tucked into God’s “sacred” presence.
Safe from harm and preparing for greatness sounds good, doesn’t it? At least for awhile! Hidden in God’s Presence precedes “high upon a rock” positioning. The cocoon of His “sacred tent” shapes the wings of unrestricted flight.
There is another interesting aspect of hiddenness to consider:
“You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me
with songs of deliverance.”
The Passion Translation says, “your joyous shouts of rescue release my breakthrough.” These words convey the idea of an escaped refugee.
Could it be that while we are far from the public eye, God is releasing breakthrough after breakthrough over us? Perhaps while in His Presence we are becoming more like Him and less like the world?
“The LORD your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Never alone! We are always with The One that matters most! Rather than fighting our way out of hiding, let’s experience God’s great pleasure resting over and surrounding us.
Envision it! God literally twirling, spinning in great joy, and breaking off things that have long held us captive.
People pursue secluded vacations to escape persistent pressures and relentless responsibilities. Perhaps our perspective needs a slight shift. What if we began to see hiddenness as a luxurious retreat?
“You are my place of quiet retreat,
and your wrap-around presence
becomes my shield
as I wrap myself in your word.”
Most versions call this “quiet retreat” a “hiding place.” It is here we “wrap” ourselves and “hope in” God’s word, trusting His promises. All other voices diminish in the cavern of His Presence.
We see this aspect more clearly when Jonathan advised David to “go into hiding and stay there” (1 Sam. 19:2). The word for “hiding” also means “to hush or be silent when referring to voices of certain persons.” (Word Study Dictionary)
The perfect place to eliminate excessive noise pollution is where God hides us. Here we develop an unshakeable trust in Him and His Word. Secretly hidden, awaiting God’s perfect time of both concealing and revealing us.
This passage always makes me smile:
“He told them still another parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like yeast
that a woman took and mixed
into about sixty pounds of flour
until it worked all through the dough.”
Are there any bread makers reading this? “Sixty pounds of flour” would feed a good-sized crowd! “Yeast”, the secret ingredient, expands the volume and makes the finished product palatable.
What makes me smile? Visualizing this strong armed woman. Mixing twenty-five pounds of flour was enough to break a sweat on my forehead. I can’t imagine sixty pounds! The combination of this woman’s strength and the living momentum within the tiny granules of yeast created abundance for others.
Jesus illustrates the positive, “hidden permeation and growth of the kingdom of heaven within an unsuspecting world.” Perhaps hiddenness has the same effect when we are released in God’s perfect time.
The big question and greatest challenge remain. Will I trust God for His timing?
In God’s perfect time, He ordained for each of us to enter the world. He knew us long before we came to be. He created us with uniquely designed sets of abilities and inabilities, gifts and talents, strengths, and weaknesses.
“My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together
in the depths of the earth.”
Yet until His perfect time, we remain hidden — sometimes protecting, always providing, often purifying.
“He made my mouth like a sharpened sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me into a polished arrow
and concealed me in his quiver.”
To prepare Isaiah as God’s voice to ongoing generations, he remained double hidden. Hidden beneath the protective hand of God and hidden within the quiver of preparation.
Preparation develops in hiddenness. Paul encourages those hidden to “set your hearts” and “minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
“For you died, and your life is
now hidden with Christ in God.”
Resting in the process enables the seclusion of hiding to reap its full effect. The greater the mission, the greater the preparation. The broader the influence, the deeper the roots of focused devotion must reach.
“You are the light of the world.
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Though, at times, we may feel unnoticed, unimportant, or undervalued, our light still shines! Light cannot be hidden. The full impact of our lives will be revealed only in eternity.
Though hidden for a season, let’s wait patiently for God’s perfect time to reveal what has been concealed. “Wait patiently” are perhaps two of my least favourite words. But let’s trust Him for the right moment to reveal His finished work in us. And when you are perhaps feeling a bit lonely, remember, I am there in hiding right beside you.