It’d been a crazy week. More like a crazy year. After much prayer and emotional angst, my husband and I had decided to homeschool. Assured God had called us to it, we felt confident He’d stand behind us.
So what could possibly go wrong?
Everything. I’m pretty sure the floodgates of disaster opened above me, because I nearly drowned in a surge of chaos.
Perhaps you can relate. God called you to do something, and you stepped out in faith, only to find the storm waters grow more frantic.
That was how I felt. I was failing! Failure alone is enough to bring most of us to our knees, but failing in an area that involves our kids? Ouch!
One evening, tense and a little melodramatic, I vented every detail to my husband.
He responded with a grin, “It’s a test.”
I stared at him. “What?”
“God’s testing you.”
This failed to bring clarity to my confusion. After all, why would God need to test me? He’s omniscient. The Bible says He knows my every thought, motive, and action.
Yet the Bible is clear: God does test us. He tested Abraham (Gen. 22:1-18), the Israelites during their desert wanderings (Deut. 8:2-18), and Peter when He and the disciples encountered the hungry crowd of 5,000 (John 6:1-13).
When we read these accounts, we begin to see that the testing was not for God’s benefit, but rather for the benefit of those being tested. For it is only when our faith is tested that we begin to see our faults. Through testing, God also allows us to reach the end of ourselves—our strengths, resources, and abilities—so we can recognize our need for Him.
Pause to read Deuteronomy chapter 8 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+8&version=NLT) . In this chapter, Moses urges the Israelites to remain faithfully obedient to God, asking them to remember the testing they endured while they wandered through the desert.
Moses said this testing:
- Humbled them (v. 2)
- Revealed their character, and at times, lack of, and their propensity (or lack of) to obey (v. 2)
- Showed them God’s provisions could be surprising, which taught them to hold loosely to their expectations (v. 3-4)
- Taught them to rely solely on Him for everything (v. 3-4, 18)
- Showed God’s faithfulness and therefore, earned their trust (v. 4-10)
- Hindered their propensity for disobedience (v. 11-18)
Their testing revealed the depths of their sin and their complete dependence on God. It showed them He was faithful, attentive, nurturing, loving, gentle, and true, in a way and to a depth they couldn’t have grasped otherwise.
You see, true, victorious, overcoming faith occurs at the heart level, and heart change occurs once we’ve come to the end of ourselves. When, empty handed, humbled, and in need of mercy, we willingly surrender everything, even that which we hold most dear, to the God who met our need when we were most desperate for His aid.
Are you in a time of testing? What might God be trying to show you about your faith, your fears, your strongholds, and your obedience level?
Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.
Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. Dealing with his own issues, Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt here: http://issuu.com/newhopedigital/docs/slattery_sampler/1
You can buy a copy here: On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/When-Dawn-Breaks-A-Novel/dp/1596694238/