“When God calls a soul simultaneously to greatness and obscurity, the fruit—if we wait for it—can change the world.” {Alicia Britt Chole}

Waiting includes hiddenness. You feel hidden. Your future feels hidden. God feels hidden.

As people, we’re hard-wired to uncover what’s hiding. We all love to expose an injustice or put something noteworthy on display. We only like mystery if we can solve it, and we feel frustrated when we aren’t able to figure it out.

If waiting includes hiddenness, then hiddenness includes mystery.

When our future is hidden, we usually feel lost and unsteady. When God feels hidden, we usually feel hurt and even bitter. We wait, and wait, and wait for hidden things to come to light, and we can easily become more discouraged with every day that passes with no change.

In Psychology, we use a term called Projection, first introduced by Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud and then expounded upon by Carl Jung and Marie-Louise Von Franz. They argued that Projection presents as a defense mechanism to protect against the fear of the unknown. When something in our lives feels unknown, we project a reality that includes fabricated stories to make sense of what we don’t understand. This is deeply human. We are always making up stories in our minds to make meaning out of our lives. The root of projection is fear, and it can distract us from connecting with a greater reality—one rooted in love rather than fear.

If you’ve organized a surprise party, or have been the recipient of one (where you were ACTUALLY surprised), you know it only works if everything stays hidden.

The element of surprise and joyous celebration hinges on everyone’s ability to keep the secret. Everyone feels an enormous amount of success when the person being surprised actually was surprised and had no idea what was going on. We all walk a little taller and feel a little more accomplished when the hidden thing stays hidden until the moment for the big reveal arrives.

Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”

Just as the person throwing the party is diligent about concealing the surprise, God’s privilege, as it’s said in other bible translations, is to conceal the “matter”, whatever that may be. It’s his glory to conceal it because it’s his glory to reveal it. God always reveals at the right time–the time where it will bring YOU the most joy and fulfillment.

What “matter” in your life are you waiting for? What areas feel hidden and shrouded in mystery? What if there is a proper time for it to be revealed, just like the moment you walk in thinking you’re going to a romantic dinner for two but instead find everyone screaming “happy birthday” at your surprise party?

The waiting, the hiddenness, and the mystery are all necessary to ultimately give you something precious at precisely the right moment. God’s intention behind our season of hiddenness is his extravagant love. Remembering this can help intercept those patterns of projection that paint a future filled with fear. In your waiting, remember that God conceals so he can reveal, and he is waiting to give you all that he has prepared for you.

Journal Prompts:

  • How can you relate to the example of the surprise party? (i.e. How would you feel being the organizer and/or recipient of the party?)
  • How do you feel (or have felt) when an area of your life feels hidden?
  • If the root of projection is fear, what have you been afraid of in hidden seasons? 
  • What do you see as an antidote to fear in your life?
Barbara Hill

Barb Hill lives in Nashville, TN with her sweet pup Nash. She is a therapist with an undergrad in Biblical studies and Masters in Biblical counseling as well as in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Barb is passionate about writing, traveling with friends, and working with her clients. She just published her first book, Seasons of Waiting: An Invitation to Hope, with Tyndale House.

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