Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Testing Times of Life~

But he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, 
I will come out as pure as gold. 
~Job 23:10

"All right, class.
I need everyone
to clear the top
of his or her desk.
Today, we are having
a pop quiz."

Aah....a pop quiz.

Unlike other tests,
this is a test
that just "pops up",
totally unexpected
and totally unplanned.

As a student,
whenever I heard
these instructions
from my teacher,
I always started to feel
anxious and in some ways,
tricked.

I hadn't been warned
of this test ahead of time
and a result,
I hadn't taken the time
to prepare.
I hadn't studied.
I simply wasn't ready.

But... ready or not,
the test landed on my desk.

A while back,
I was surprised
with a pop quiz.
It didn't come
in the usual way -
a paper placed on my desk.
No, this test
popped into my life
when I found myself confronted
by an angry person.

Amazingly,
I had started my day
meditating on countless scriptures
in God's Word
that pertained to peace.
When I walked out my door,
I was filled to the brim
with peace.

Then......all that changed.

As this woman attacked me
with bitter words,
I felt anything
but peaceful.

You'll be happy to know
on the outside, (at least)
I remained
calm, cool and collected.
I responded in love
and tried to de-fuse her anger
in a gentle way.

But.....on the inside......
I was a mess!

Anger, hurt, resentment, frustration.
All of these emotions
and about a zillion more
were having their own "private" war.

When this "battle" was over,
my peace was gone.

For the next couple of hours,
I kept replaying the scene
in my mind.

What just happened there?!?!?

How could this have happened?!?!

Today, of all days,
I was going to walk in peace.
I was all "peaced up"
when I left my home.

But, where was my peace now?

Why hadn't my peace survived this altercation?

Wasn't that the whole purpose of peace in the first place?

Then, it hit me.

POP QUIZ!

Only this is one test
I should have passed
with flying colors.
I knew all the verses
about peace.
I was prepared.
I had studied for this one.

Yet....when the test came,
I failed.
Why?

It is one thing to know something.
It is something entirely different
to apply this knowledge
and make it who you are.

Teachers often use testing
as a means to determine
whether or not a pupil
has mastered a skill or discipline.
A wise teacher will use not one,
but multiple tests,
to gauge the level of understanding
in the student.

It is not enough
to simply memorize facts,
repeat rules,
or circle A, B, C, or D.
A student must 
apply the knowledge 
in order to gain the wisdom.

The child must take the information
and then use it, apply it, make it work.

I had the information,
but now I was being called upon
to use this information, to apply it, to make it work.

Peace isn't simply something
we can merely talk about.
It is something we need to
put into practice
in our daily lives.

If we don't.....what's the point?!

Peace isn't for the times
when all is hunky dory
and peachy keen.
No!
Peace is for the moments
when all of hell
is trying to break in.

Peace is to be the guard
fighting at the door
of our heart.

Peace needs to be ready
at all times.

And then,
when the heat is on,
peace needs to step up
and defend.

In these moments of the battle,
if we are prepared
and have hidden God's Word
in our heart
AND
if we know that we know that we know
peace is ours
for the holding onto
and the living in,
then we simply need
to call on the power
of the Holy Spirit
and hold our ground.

We are in spiritual warfare.
This is a 24-7 fight.
We cannot for one moment
let our guard down.
We cannot for one moment
think we have arrived!
We cannot take our eyes
off our Jesus
and place them onto
the "test of life" placed in front of us
and expect to walk away
victorious.

I shouldn't have been caught off guard.

I am not ignorant of the devil's devices. (2 Corinthians 2:11)

I know to "Be self-controlled and alert.
[because] Your enemy the devil
prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8 - AMP)

I also know my God.

I know that greater is He
who is in me
than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

I know that with Christ,
I can do ALL things. (Philippians 4:13)

I know when I have a demand
placed on me,
my God shall supply ALL my needs. (Philippians 4:19)

I know to be anxious about nothing,
but to pray about everything,
and in doing this,
the peace of God
will guard my heart and mind. (Philippians 4:6-7).

I know, I know, I know.

Now, it is time to live it.
Time to apply it.
Time to make it work in my life.

What about you?
Have you been tested this week?

Remember, our God is faithful.

Life is all about learning
how to live it.
Thankfully, in Christ,
we are able to sit
at the feet of the Master teacher.

Yes, indeed...

"...he knows where I am going.
And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold."



~Stacy




1 comment:

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