I Am Hidden In Christ

Looking Back: Remembering that I Am Hidden in Christ

The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength in who I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation and my high tower.” – Ps. 18:2, NASB

What do butterflies, chickens, Africa, and an orange stocking cap have in common? Hide-and-seek, silly! Okay, maybe not really, but we’ll be talking about that quirky list this week.

I am hidden in Christ. He conceals me, yet sets me apart. He keeps me safe even as earthly storms rage. He comforts me, changes me, claims me, and never, ever lets me go. He is my rock, my deliverer, my strength, and my salvation.

Are you hidden in Christ?

I Am Hidden In Christ


“Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” ~Romans 7:24-25a, NASB

Can I identify with Paul? Absolutely. And I’m finding that it is often in the lonely desert places in my life that God reveals to me the areas that need work. The hidden spots of anger, resentment, selfishness and conceit. He brings them up to the surface so that I can see them for what they are. Yuck.

I don’t like that. I don’t like to see the ugliness stored up inside of me. In frustration and embarrassment, I cry out to him, “Please take it away!”

A question floats to the top at that moment:  Take the sin, or just the view of that sin? What is it I really want? Disguise or metamorphosis? Because the thing is, real change takes time and investment. By God’s power, for sure, this heart can be molded, but it requires not only my yielding, but also practice. That’s hard.

During a Sunday school lesson this week I was reminded of this slow process of transformation. We studied the butterfly recently, and talked about how God can transform our lives through Christ, just like that caterpillar is transformed from a worm to a winged creature.

In our home, we recently watched the metamorphosis process. We have a crop of black swallowtail caterpillars hatch on my parsley, and my daughter kept one in her bug jar. She fed it, kept its habitat clean, and watched as the little thing ate and grew, and ate and grew–and then finally change.  We noticed a few things while we watched:20140804_071716

  1. The caterpillar consumed the parsley with ravenous hunger. It didn’t stop to take a nap, nor did it deviate from the parsley. It ate only that herb, and it did it with amazing efficiency. Made me wonder, do I hunger for God’s Word like that?
  2. The little thing grew proportionally to its eating. It also began taking on a greenish hue in the spots where it had once been white. It began showing on the outside what it was putting in the inside. Am I putting inside what I want to shine through on the outside?
  3. Once it had nestled in its chrysalis, the waiting began. It took a long time! Daily, the question was, “will it hatch today?” I want to hatch now, but clearly it’s not time. Am I willing to wait for God’s perfect timing?
  4. Amazingly (and I know that most have seen this happen, so it’s nothing new—except it’s still mind-blowing) when that black swallowtail emerged, she looked nothing like yellow and white (greenish) caterpillar. We watched in wonder while she stretched her new wings, wiggled her new antennae, and tested her new, spindly legs. Everything about her had changed—she was brand new! This brought the Psalms to mind: “Why are you downcast, oh my soul? Put your hope in God!”

That kind of transformation takes time.  I’m reminded of the verses we started the week with: “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4, NASB)

Who I am in Christ has not yet been entirely revealed. I am hidden, as though in a cocoon, awaiting the day when I will be revealed as I truly am in Him. What a thought! He is not done with me yet.

I Am Hidden In Christ, Who I am in Christ

The Rock

The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength in who I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation and my high tower.” – Ps. 18:2, NASB

I live on the flatlands of the Midwest. The idea of a “rock” is a little hard to picture from my window because the land stretches uninterrupted all the way to either horizon. We don’t even have rocks in our dirt–which makes for easier farming–so my imagination must flit to something beyond my immediate reality.

For some reason I kept thinking of “the Rock,” as in Alcatraz. Probably weird, I know, but I looked it up anyway. Used as a military stronghold, a military prison and then later as a maximum-security prison, the 22 acre island has an inglorious history. But it was used for those things for a reason. Located 1-1/2 miles off San Francisco Bay and surrounded by strong, cold currents of the bay, “the Rock” was uncommonly secure.

What if I remove all of the negative shadows thrown over Alcatraz? What if it was a place of security for the person on that island? The Rock becomes a shelter then, doesn’t it? A fortress, perhaps. A place of deliverance, of salvation and a high tower. A place where I am safe.

That is my God. The Rock in whom I trust. I am safe with Him.

I Am Hidden In Christ

I Am Hidden in Christ

For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3, NASB

I am revisiting this idea of being hidden in Christ. Largely because, well, to be honest, I’d kind-of like to hide this week. However, running off to a secluded lake all by myself for a few days is not on my possibilities radar, so my solitary retreat must be in spirit.

I’ve been chewing on this verse in Colossians with a bit of perplexity. What did Paul mean when he says that we “are hidden with Christ in God?” That’s an odd statement, don’t you think? I get the “set your mind on things above,” part, but this hidden with Christ in God . . .waiting to be revealed section has tumbled around in my mind with flavor of mystery.

What of a pearl? A pearl is hidden away, it’s beauty and value awaiting revelation. But more than that, it is protected as it is being perfected, kept safe by the strong clamps of the oyster. This is interesting, because that pearl didn’t begin as anything beautiful or valuable. Mark Sprinkle so aptly writes that a “pearl is a treasure of suffering” because it started as a wound. A pearl is an irritant–a speck of dirt–that has been redeemed by the very object upon which it had inflicted pain.

Does this not sound like our Christ? He bore our sins, took our shame and hung on the cross, putting to death death’s demands, and then—how very glorious! He keeps us tucked safe in his fail-safe love. Like that pearl, a transformed treasure, I am hidden with Christ in God. That is far better than any weekend retreat, I think.

I Am Hidden In Christ

An Orange Stocking Cap

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the [life] which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20, NKJV

My husband is a hunter–he comes from a family of all boys, and they grew up hunting. Camo is an actual color in our house. More than that, it’s the hue of preference–especially at Christmas time. And that stuff’s not cheap; boy those Cabela brothers knew what they were doing!

So, that leads to a funny story. As a family, we went skiing with my husband’s parents and brothers several years ago. You know how skiers have kind-of a definitive look? North Face or Columbia Coats. Coordinated snow pants and hats/gloves. Expensive goggles.

Then you have the boarders. Also, a unique style. Usually baggy, and much bolder. If you’ve been to a slope, you know what I’m talking about.

Well, my father-in-law had a style, but it wasn’t either of those. It was the hunter’s style. Designed to be inconspicuous in the woods (with the exception of that obnoxious orange), it did NOT blend with white powder. He stuck out like–well like a guy wearing his hunting coveralls and an orange stocking cap on a ski slope. Whenever we’d lose track of him, we just sat back and waited. Sure enough, that hunters-orange would pop out like a red bulb on a string of white Christmas lights. We laughed the whole day.

I thought of that tonight as I pondered Paul’s words, and the memory still makes me chuckle. But it really helps define this idea of being hidden in Christ. See, putting on Christ, being covered by Him, defined by Him, will often mean that I stick out like a guy in full camo at a yuppie ski resort.

Thing is, my father-in-law really didn’t care what all those people thought of him. He was just being himself, and he didn’t feel the need to try to fit in.

If I am dead to myself and alive in Christ, I need that kind of boldness. I need to wear Christ in a world that values success above service, and self-promotion over love. I need to be okay with the snickers that will inevitably come. I need to be more concerned with being hidden in Jesus than with blending in with the masses.

So, maybe it’s like wearing an orange hat. But a life hidden in Christ will be worth sticking out in a crowd.

I Am Hidden In Christ

Hidden In Christ: A Joint Post

So, if you have been raised with the Messiah, seek what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. …Put to death whatever in you is wordly … Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another.  Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you must also forgive.  Above all, put on love – the perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:1-3, 5, 12-14 HCSB

From Jen:

There is an incident from my childhood that still resides in my mind, beckoned whenever I think of ‘hiding.’

We were at a gathering involving many other children, and some of the girls were being particularly mean, as older elementary girls can sometimes be. While I have a sharp tongue, a fact that often gets me into trouble, I was a shy child, so I left the scene and found a hiding place. Though I could hear them looking, they didn’t find me, and I spent the rest of the evening in my secret spot.

I don’t remember the details of that night—what was said, who was involved—much of anything, really. All I remember was hiding, and feeling safe where I was hidden. That turns something of a sour memory into one that savors of sweetness, and I find that amazing.

Hiding isn’t always an act of cowardice. It can be one of wisdom, and can offer security. It can also change the outcome of something bad.

Kind of like eternity.

From Susan:

Jen didn’t say what she was hiding behind or under.  But, when the other kids were looking for her, they didn’t see her.  They saw the thing that was concealing her.

From Jen’s perspective, she was secure, hidden, safe. From the mean girls’ perspective, she was just gone, replaced by a large object.

Oh, in my life, may that object be Christ.  May he so overshadow me, that those looking for me will only see Him, not me.  That will only happen when I live out the words of these verses, when I hide my old self in Christ, putting away all that is worldly within me.

When I choose to hide wrath and showcase compassion, when I choose to push down annoyance and put on patience, that’s when I am hidden in Christ, eclipsed by His character.

Today, may His qualities completely hide my own.