The other day I was driving with the radio on, and all of a sudden the song stopped playing and a strange noise emanated from the speakers. This noise was followed by an announcement, “This was a test. This was a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. If this had been an actual emergency, this signal would have been followed by . . .”
The sudden announcement got me thinking about my life and my walk with the Lord. I thought to myself, “This is a test!”
This life is a test for all of us as believers.
I thought specifically about the day-to-day tests that the Lord allows to help me grow. I pondered how helpful it would be if He would announce that it was a test – prior to the test!
Two of my children are still in school, and I frequently find myself telling them that perhaps they should have studied more when they feel they did not do well on a particular test. It is common to study prior to a test, and most of us as school children expressed disdain for “pop quizzes.” We did not like to be surprised by a test and often as a result of the element of surprise felt unprepared.
I feel that way in life sometimes when I am presented with a “pop quiz.” I go along with my day all planned, when suddenly things don’t go as planned and I am confronted with an obstacle. I wish, at that moment, the emergency signal I had heard on my radio would sound loudly in my head and an announcer would remind me, “This is a test!”
How am I going to handle the person who cut me off on the road?
How about the child who refuses to submit his stubborn will to my authority?
What am I going to do about the friend who suddenly has caused such a deep offense?
How will I handle the stranger who needs more than a courteous greeting?
Do the broken pipes, cars, toys, relationships, marriages and hearts cause me to fall to my knees or shake my fist at heaven?
How do I prepare for these daily tests? Scripture tells us to “study to show thyself approved.” I never really, truly understood that until I started pondering my life tests.
The only way I am going to be prepared for the “pop quizzes” called life is to be immersed in the word daily.
The Holy Spirit will guide me if I submit my will to Him, and I will be ready for any test that comes my way. Will I pass them all? No. Will I fail some? Yes. But the Bible also tells me that God will use everything for my good, according to His purpose.
This is a test. This is only a test. If this had been an actual emergency . . . Jesus would have appeared! Just as He does each and every time I call on Him.