Thriving in Obscurity
In my walks through the meadows of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I often find myself surrounded by wildflowers. As I walk through them, I feel as if God has created them and placed them in my path for my pleasure. What comes to my mind is that it is quite possible that my eyes would be the only human eyes that would ever look upon some of those flowers. The next leap in my mind is that there are billions of wildflowers covering the Sierras as well as other parts of our land on which no human eye will ever gaze. Yet, God has created them and placed them in all their glory for His glory. The most obscure wildflower praises its Creator by doing perfectly what it was created to do and to be.
Within the Body of Christ there are some who are like flowers growing alongside of a busy pathway where many pause to gaze, while others serve in obscurity. We must remember that both were placed in their places by the sovereign hand of almighty God. And, whether it is in the limelight or in obscurity, we have been called to serve the Lord our God with every fiber of our being, because it is for His glory that we ultimately live and breathe and have our being. Before God the most obscure wildflower is as important in His created order as the one beside the busy pathway.
I Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” God alone has sovereignly chosen the place of not only our habitation (Acts 17:26) but also our arena of service. And to each one, He has entrusted that which is according to each one’s unique ability (Matthew 25:15). When we grovel or complain about our lot in life and the arena in which God has placed us, we in effect say, “God you don’t know what you are doing, you’ve made a mistake.” What God is calling us to do is embrace His choice as the best choice for us, whether that be in the limelight or in obscurity. When we embrace God’s sovereign choice, we will also in that place find fullness of joy and a contentment that goes deep into the heart.
The Apostle Paul said that he had learned to be content in whatever situation he was. For Paul that included jail cells, beatings, shipwrecks, rejection, cold, hunger, exposure, and unimaginable dangers. Totally surrender unto his Lord and his Lord’s will, Paul learned the secret of thriving in the limelight as well as thriving in obscurity.
So, like the wildflower on whose beauty human eyes may never gaze, live every moment to its fullest, do what it is you do for the glory of God, knowing that there is a reward for your labor and your faithfulness. “But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is a reward for your work” (II Chronicles 15:7).
When we get to heaven, I believe we will all be surprised when we see upon whom God showers the greatest heavenly rewards. I will go so far as to say, I bet we will not even recognize their names. But they found the secret of serving faithfully, even if it was in obscurity.