Monday, April 27, 2009

The Dreaded Testing Is Upon Us!!!!....

It's that TIME of year again!
Spring always means that Annual Testing is approaching. For homeschoolers this is a necessary but not always desired part of schooling at home. The DREADED HOUR is upon us! We must buck up, be strong, confront it and conquer!!!

My kids have NEVER liked the testing. I must admit neither have I! Not because it drains any supply from my brain, or challenges me to finish umpty-ump questions in a short amount of time! It's just the strain of administering the tests, encouraging "Just do your best", and walking away.

The purposes of these tests is not so much to let us see what our kids know. As parents who have our kids at home every day, we can pretty much discern that information by conversations and questions on a daily basis. The best reasoning for testing (besides that it is a mandatory requirement in NC) is that it allows us to see what our kids do NOT know, or where their weaknesses are. That is where we know we will need to shore up, fill in the cracks, and build their strengths.

As I contemplated all of this last week, I realized that this is a pretty true picture of why God allows us to be tested in our spiritual walks. Does HE know how strong we are? Yes! Does HE know where our weaknesses are? Yes!

How about from our end of the picture? Do we know our strengths? More than likely, and probably we exaggerate them in our own assessment. Do we know our weaknesses? I would say we naturally depress our weaknesses, and do not look at them, nor do we study them. We do not pursue ways to stretch ourselves for growth in those areas. So what does our loving Father do?....... He helps us out. :-)

God does not bring hardships, trials, or suffering our way to punish us, nor does He receive delight in seeing us pay for our shortcomings. He is our Abba! He loves us. He delights in bringing us closer to Himself, and seeing us grow and rely on Him for the knowledge and strength we need. He knows us inside and out.

"O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD." (Psalms 139:1-4)

Testings are the inevitable times in our lives, as children of a caring and concerned God, where He is preparing us for what is ahead. He is laying the foundation for continued growth and the stretching times that will most certainly come as we walk this earth.

So, today I am reminded to be thankful even in the midst of testing. It is a sign that God is just continually checking me out, having me do inventory on my strengths and weaknesses, so that I can take care of the breaches in my walls of defense against the enemy. It is a GOOD thing.

Our God is faithful. He will take care of us. He will not allow us to be tested beyond what we are capable of handling, just as I would never have tested my 2nd grader with 12th grade level materials.

"So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (I Corinthians 10: 12,13)

And now, I must go and get ready to TEST! I don't like making my boys do it, but I know it is for their best, and it is required. I must submit to the authorities over me.

May we know today that God loves us, even as He loved Job, and though some of our trials and testings seem long and hard to endure, in the end, all will be for our good, God's BEST for us. So let us change our view from this end of the picture!

Are you being tested? Thank God that He is with you. He will be your loving and caring administrator as you work through the questions and challenges you face today. He will help you find your weak spots and grow you to face and CONQUER next time this test time rolls around.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting>" (Psalm 139: 23-24)



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