About 10 minutes from my childhood home in Wyoming, you'll find Sinks Canyon State Park, at the base of the Wind River Mountains. The locals call it "the sinks," which is actually the name of a unique geological formation (I plagiarized that wording from the park website) where the raging waters of the Popo Agie River vanish underground.
I don't think I've ever gone there without speculating, in childlike wonder, about what happens to the water as it travels underground. There's a sense of exciting mystery, when an entire river just disappears from sight.
The Lord brought this image to my mind, as I've been laboring to blog more and more. So many times, I've sat in front of my laptop with the cursor blinking loud on a blank page.
Lord, I've prayed, How is it possible that you're doing so much work inside of me and I feel like I can't write about it? I've never had more content to write about than I have in the last months, but I've never felt more inhibited to put the words on paper.
But finally, the Lord has given me words to describe to you what's happening: The water of life has carried me underground. His beautiful and spectacular raging waters have swept me to a hidden place, where most of the work happening inside of me is where no one can see, and it's so special and intimate that I can't even share it—often don't want to share it.
Is this a temporary hiddenness?
The Popo Agie pops back up from its subterranean journey, and you can drive down the road and feed the fish there. But I don't know about this river ride with the Lord. Does he take each soul permanently to a deep, private place?
Luke tells us: "Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16, NIV).
I wonder how much of Jesus' relationship with God was underground. When we read about his daily activities with people, are we only seeing a very small part of what he was really experiencing with God every day?
In Unseen: The Gift of Being Hidden in a World That Loves to Be Noticed, Sara Hagerty says: "No one knew this conversation I was having in my head with God. And I was starting to like these secret exchanges."
Dallas Willard, in The Divine Conspiracy, talks about the "discipline of secrecy" —the practice of doing good works for only God to see.
A secret, underground life with Jesus? Tell me that's not intriguing. It's a new thought for me, as I read Paul's declaration: "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3, MEV).
What does this mean for a blogger who likes to share with others what God is doing in her life? Maybe it means I have less I can share with you, even as God is working ever more powerfully and beautifully in my heart. Or maybe this is a season of private worship and growth for me, and sometime down the way, the water and I will pop back up, to be visible again?
I don't know.
But if you don't hear from me as often as I've written in the past, I hope you'll feel the exciting mystery of my vanishing. At the same time, I hope you'll long to go deep and intimate with God yourself. Follow Jesus' lead and withdraw, as often as you possibly can, to lonely places and pray. (Women, we can do this mentally, without leaving our homes, so don't despair.)
What is God doing in your heart right now that is private and just for him to see?
This article originally appeared at christyfitzwater.com.
Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.
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