Have you ever felt like no one can see you? You’re doing all the right things, but it’s like you’re living in obscurity. Nothing you do is seen, or acknowledged, by anyone?
It’s such a common feeling. I know of many people who at one stage or another, have felt like that. We all have a deep longing to have our lives acknowledged, and to feel like you’re living in obscurity tugs at the heart of that longing.
To make things feel worse, everyone is dreaming of something. Often these dreams are grand and they reflect a heart wanting to do big things for God. But, many of us live wondering when these dreams might become a reality. We’re waiting for someone to notice, waiting for our dream, or our gift to be seen. We’re waiting to be plucked out of obscurity.
I’m often asked, by people in that place; ‘when will my time come?’
It’s an interesting question, but, although we’ve probably all asked questions like that, it’s actually really unhelpful.
In fact, it’s completely the wrong question.
The reason it’s unhelpful is because it focuses on ourselves and not on God. It’s a question that presumes you or I know what’s best. It presumes no one has seen you, and that there’s no plan in place for your life.
But this is the opposite of the picture the Bible paints.
Scripture indicates that God knew you before you were born, that He has plans for your life, and that He even knows how many hairs are on your head.
Even if no person has acknowledged you, God, the only one who really matters, knows everything about you. He’s intimately aware of everything there is to know about you and your life. Therefore, you have great reason to believe that there’s a plan, reason and good purpose behind your dreams, gifts and perhaps life, feeling like it’s in a place of obscurity.
Instead of asking when your time will come, the better question to ask is this;
Knowing that God loves me, is aware of me and has a plan for my life, what am I meant to do, and to learn, during this time?
Once we start to think about the answers to that question, we can begin to live in the purpose for the time we spend in obscurity.
Think about the many Bible narratives and all the people that take their places in our Christian heritage, many of them spent years in obscurity. Some we don’t even know the names of.
Spending a time in obscurity, apparently not ‘doing anything’ is often the way God works. You’re in good company and there’s much to be grateful for.
So with all that in mind, here’s 3 reasons why your current obscurity is probably the best thing for you;
1) It allows you to make mistakes and to hone your skills.
No matter what your hoping to do, or to be for Christ, now is the time to take risks, and to step out. When no one sees you, or at least when you feel that way, you have the perfect opportunity to practice, to focus, and to engage in your craft. You can make mistakes along the way without the pressure of a title, a position or an audience. Obscurity is the perfect place to try out the things you believe God would have you do. After all, if you’re not prepared to do them when no one is looking, what makes you think you’re going to be ready, skilled and prepared to do them when people are watching?
2) It helps you know what is, and what isn’t God’s desire for you.
Time in obscurity is a great opportunity for you to work out what you’re actually gifted to do. Sometimes the dreams and desires we have for our lives aren’t the things that God has gifted with. We want them to be, we think they are, but they’re not. We fool ourselves into believing that we have abilities and talents that we simply don’t have. Obscurity is helpful because it helps to make us aware that we’re not actually meant to do some things. Could it be that your time in obscurity is actually because you’re not gifted to do the things you’ve been wanting to do?
3) It builds character by testing your motive.
Sometimes we’re not honest enough with ourselves about our own motives. Sometimes we want to be noticed for our own self esteem sake and not the sake of the Gospel. We say we want to do great things for the Kingdom, and we do, but really we want the accolade, or the platform, just as much. Obscurity is great at helping us become aware of our motives. If you’re prepared to do the things for God that are in your heart when no one is looking, then perhaps you’ll be ready to do them when there’s any type of onlookers, audience or platform.
Obscurity is often a good thing, especially for a time.
It’s not as bad as we sometimes tell ourselves. The days, weeks, or even years living in obscurity do have purpose. God will use them to shape, develop and mature you if you allow Him to. When you embrace obscurity He will use everything you do, and all you experience, to His glory.
So be grateful that He is patiently allowing you to become all He needs you to be, before He completely emerges you in the grand things He has for you to do.
It’s all part of His plan, so be grateful even in obscurity.
Over to you…
Have you ever considered that the obscurity that you’ve been living in is actually a blessing? Please, share your thoughts and response in the comments section below.