More fruit from hidden years- an unshakable identity. Hidden years are uncelebrated years. These are the seasons when we feel underestimated, unappreciated, or even invisible. In other words, no one is clapping. In that silence, unsupported by rounds of applause, hidden years provide the opportunity for us to wrestle with what truly makes us significant. Alicia Britt Chole
In our society, we tend to place value on achievements, possessions, and popularity. The more we have, the more celebrated and admired we may feel. But how would you react if you are wrestling in the uncelebrated season of life? No one is coming, no one is clapping, and no one is celebrating with you? Just you.
What grows during hidden season?
It's the underrated virtues: self-control, patience, and faithfulness.
I taught for five years and during those years I felt that everything I was doing wasn't remarkable. I felt unappreciated and undervalued. I thought teachers would just be teaching but there were many times that I would be like a nanny to kids, referee when there were fights, cried in the comfort room while cleaning and trying to flush my students' poop, and struggled with so many things behind the curtains. During those days I dwelt in self-pity, thinking I didn't deserve them after pursuing a degree and studying hard, I would just be doing those things. My pride was overflowing and I was so tempted to leave and just pursue the easier path. I never thought that those hidden and hard moments were just pieces of training to purify my character and practice self-control, patience, and faithfulness. Now, I see the worth of all those things and I am grateful.
I think most of us have many stories before we finally reach our celebrated season and admit it we treasure those hard times we experienced when we're just doing things for God alone because He's the only One who's interested in us. Those unseen moments of our life grow our character so we won't find our significance in our work, profession, people, and material possession. Those are stepping stones to discover that our worth comes from God alone. He would lead us to the wilderness to humble us, to test us, to know what is in our hearts, to discipline us, to see if we will keep His commands, and to truly depend on Him.
Arctic scientists inform us that only one-eighth to one-tenth of an iceberg is visible, with up to 90% submerged. Due to their enormous mass, icebergs are virtually indestructible. Similarly, uncelebrated moments of feeling unappreciated, undervalued, and underestimated are the foundation of one's unshakable identity. Remember that God appreciates both visible and invisible seasons of life when done for His glory alone. There's hidden treasure in your hidden years in the wilderness, it isn't about the possessions, achievements, or titles that you obtained, it's more than that. No amount of money could pay for that- it's an unshakable identity, the person you're becoming during the tough times of your life, it's just you and the Lord. How intimate is that!
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.Galatians 5: 22-26
2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.Deuteronomy 8:2-5
Reflections : Anonymous, Jesus' Hidden Years by Alicia Britt Chole