The other night at church I had a moment of conviction. Our lead pastor was sharing and he said something that made me think. He said that God develops vision in us in the secret place. He used the example of Nehemiah and talked about how Nehemiah didn’t share all that was in his heart with other people at the beginning of his story. What? This was unthinkable to me because, as an individual, whenever I have any sort of news that I am excited about I immediately want to share that with everyone who is around me. My heart begins to burst at the seams in such a way that I refuse to keep it in! This isn’t inherently bad, and I’m not even sure if it is something that I really want to change that dramatically, but it is something that made me think.
The last few months have not been the easiest for me. I stepped out of my role as a junior high pastor to focus more on writing and finishing school (neither of which I have seen any movement in, evidenced by my lack of writing). Everything was just requiring way more effort than I thought it was going to. I didn’t have a job for a couple weeks and I realized how much stock my identity had in what I do, which isn’t the most fun revelation. I got really angry with God because things weren’t going the way I thought they should, and they weren’t going the way I believed He had told me they would. Really though, I had been given a glimpse of a vision and I tried to act as if I knew the entirety of all that God wanted to do in this season. It was like I had seen the trailer to a movie and decided that I would go tell the world the entire plot of the film after only seeing a small clip. Of course, because I told everybody about the vision I believed I had (in true Derek fashion) I felt hurt that it wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to.
I think this is why the message about Nehemiah hit me so hard. It made me think that maybe there was some hidden (or maybe just hidden to me) wisdom to this whole secret life thing. I think there was a part of me that only associated secrets with hiding. I have done so much hiding in my life and I am so over it, but there is a wisdom in the secret place with God that doesn’t hinder you from transparency, but rather sets you fully free in your own heart to walk closer with God. I am beginning to see that when we keep the words that the Lord gives us close to our hearts and spend time with Him meditating on the things He has said, it allows time and space for our vision from Him to be expanded.
So I have decided something. From this point on, I am going to do my best to cultivate this secret, oh so counterintuitive, place with God where He can enlarge my heart towards Him, and increase my ability to see Him and the places He is calling me into. I want you to know that you are free to keep secrets with God, not unhealthy and repressive secrets, but the secrets that a husband and wife keep in the bedroom; the intimate, beautiful, and dangerous secrets that are only known in that place until new life is brought forth. Press in, quiet you heart, shut your mouth, and wait for new life because it is on the way if you just have the patience to walk and wait.