Recently I’ve grown in my appreciation of the hidden place. The unseen, secret place. The place where things are birthed and developed. The place where things are rooted.
I often find myself evaluating my life based on outward criteria: How many people smiled at me today or how well I performed in class or what number I saw on the scale this morning. But this causes two problems:
1. Instability, because those outward results are always changing.
2. Frustration, because the results aren’t always what I expect or want.
The hidden place is not about results or being seen or publicly recognized. It’s about knowing who you are.
The strength of my relationship with God is in its hiddenness. I share moments with God every day that no one else knows anything about, and those secret moments are what make my relationship with Him strong. My devotion and surrender to God is first and foremost something no one else can see, which is how I know it is real and not about gaining anyone’s approval or admiration.
The realness of that relationship inevitably spills into my public life, but that is all the outward life of faith should be: an overflow of what has been cultivated in secret.
It applies to practical things, too. When I focus on outward results in my Korean studies, I get frustrated. I’m tempted to give up. But if I simply focus on devoting myself to studying in the hidden place, the results come eventually.
If you’re going to be a world-changer, you’re going to be seen in public eventually (though not necessarily in front of huge crowds), but I’m learning to leave that part in God’s hands. Instead of seeking the spotlight because I like it or even because I feel I have something important to share, I am cultivating my ideas and talents privately and waiting to be called up. Because first and foremost it isn’t about being seen.
That might seem like a strange thing to say. How can you expect to change the world if you stay hidden? Shouldn’t taking initiative be key? But I don’t live according to my own authority, I am simply a servant of the Living God, the one who, in fact, is the world-changer. God will know when the time is right.
So I wait in the hidden place, rooting myself in my identity, faithfully cultivating what He has given me, knowing that the overflow will naturally spill out when God says it’s time to be seen.