I always marvel at how intentional God is about hiding those he values most.
Moses spent 40 years on the backside of the wilderness tending sheep. David was hidden in the hills as the least of his family, and a shepherd boy. Jesus was a son of a carpenter in a nondescript town of which it was said "nothing good can come from here".
Imagine with me for a second, the revolutionary liberator and leader of the Israelites, God's chosen people, the first GOOD King of Israel, and the saviour of the entire world, all trained and groomed in obscurity.
You are feeling the obscurity blues if you feel shrouded or hidden from the world. If you feel like you have such a great call of God upon your life and a magnificent purpose to fulfil but lack the reach, access, and resources to do so; you're in good company! Moses, David, and Jesus are but 3 of a great throng of Biblical characters who had to remain hidden while they were groomed, and character was developed.
God appreciates that being on the front page while growing is deadly. Not only are you subject to the pedestal expectations of people, but you also face the challenge of many voices in your ears, the tug and pull of the wide audience that knows you or knows of you,
The crazy, unrealistic demands of people to meet their needs and fulfil their desires of you, and the immaturity of your untrained spirit...these are all damaging for a growing plant which must go through the delicate stages of evolution from sprout to sapling to fully grown.
The biggest push factor is our own impatience. We hear from God that we have purpose, and our own impatience tells us that the time is RIGHT THIS INSTANT. Youthful inexperience and lack of maturity breeds an unbridled exuberance that we must check. It is beautiful to find our purpose. It is awesome to know who we are and have a clear identity and understanding of what God has created us for specifically. Yet the journey of preparation that we must embark upon to get ready to actualize this can be long and tedious.
God knows best
When God holds us back and detains us in the wilderness, it is with the specific intention of allowing us the necessary privacy and safe environment to grow without unrealistic expectations and the height from which to fall and break irreparably.
He is wise enough to know that the starlight is blinding, and the weight of purpose will crush the individual who has not developed the muscular capacity to carry it on their shoulders. Undeveloped lungs do not breathe well in high altitude.
He needs time alone with us before we have time with them. He desires to build in us the strength, wisdom, character, righteousness, meekness, love, and truth that will sustain us where we're going. The journey is as important at the destination. We are not forgotten, we are remembered, cherished, and loved.
When we see a butterfly, we see the product of a process. That same butterfly was once a caterpillar and then a cocoon. While creeping along slowly as a caterpillar, the butterfly was called a "worm" by people who didn't understand what it was.
Scorned and rejected it was and it had to survive in the most vulnerable, overlooked, and lonely existences. Then as if that was not enough, the cocoon phase began. Time locked away in the most unattractive encasement. Folks looking on said "that is a dead thing" because they did not understand that an incredible transformative process was underway. Out of man's sight does not mean unseen by God.
Before he flew, he had to remain still while the God of nature did His handiwork. Before he was beautiful, he was ugly. Before he was appreciated, he was misunderstood. Before he was accepted, he was rejected. Before he was seen, he was unseen. Before he was called "butterfly" he was called "worm".
Before he was loved, he was hated. And so, with us all who are called. We must allow the journey to take its full course in carrying us through the requisite stages of development from caterpillar to butterfly.
Over 2020, many ambitions were halted. Many dreams were paused, and plans were placed in hiatus. Delay however is not denial and the God who sees you (El Roi) is calling you to a realization: He orchestrated the delays and the waiting periods to build patience in us. He designed stops in our journey for us to be groomed and grown to be mature enough and stable enough...healed enough and grounded enough to fulfil purpose.
The wait does not change our identity, the weight allows us to become who we were created to be to not only get to, but also thrive in the destination.
May we be found waiting well.
2020 was my cocoon year, 2021 will be my butterfly year.
Dear Lord, I repent for the times I have not been found waiting well. I am sorry for questioning your timing and growing impatient because I admit that as I look around, I see others thriving and excelling in their lanes and a hint of jealousy or confusion may have arisen within me, making me doubt your plans for me and my identity in you. I trust you with my life and with my future, and I submit to the journey you have me on. As your word promises in Philippians 1.6, 'He who began a great work in me is faithful to complete it'. I hold fast to this promise, and I will become the butterfly you want me to be despite the cocoon years.
I thank you for your love and faithfulness, Amen.
Victor Brown is a Christian Creative and singer-songwriter from Kingston Jamaica. He enjoys reading and writing as well as creating music. He is currently a law student at the Norman Manley Law School.