Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Testing

It's funny that when you ask God for a Word, it can come through the unlikeliest place. Today mine came through the parking attendant. I looked sad today, mostly because I am...I am fighting through a lot of things I don't understand or really cannot give a voice. Not because I don't want to, but I am just tired. and weak. and afraid. and human. So when I returned to work today, my face obviously showed all that I had on my mind. So the attendant told me, "You don't look like your normal smiling self." I told him that I was having a rough day and that I was working through some things.

The next thing he said stunned me. "God says you are going through a period of testing. And He is waiting to see how you are going to do on the examination."

I made it to the office without breaking down to cry and immediately called my friend to tell her what he said. She reminded me that I have been in a testing period for the last few months....really since I have come back from Ghana.

And then God reminded me of 2 scriptures that have been my theme for a few years (Message version...I like the Message),

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2-4).

"We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!" (Romans 5:3-5)

The Message Bible's version of Romans 5:5 reminded me of the widow in 2 Kings 4. She had nothing left but a jar of oil, and was on the point of losing her sons to slavery. Even in the midst of her nothingness, the Lord appeared with abundance. Because of her alert expectation of God...she received...abundantly. So I will stay alert and waiting. It's going to be good.

2 comments:

Lauren Mason said...

Great post. God is waiting to see how you do on the examination. Mmm...good word. I was thinking of you last night. Love you Sis. Let's talk soon.

DevotionalizeThis! said...

Amen. God loves you so much! I have been encouraged by Hebrews 12.

Love you so much.

My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline,
but don't be crushed by it either.
It's the child he loves that he disciplines;
the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out. He's treating you as dear children. This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best. At the time, discipline isn't much fun. It always feels like it's going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it's the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.


I like The Message too.