Several years ago, the company where I worked was changing software systems. As part of the IT department, there was a lot of stress during that time. In a nutshell, we had to get all the data from the old system into the new system. Sounds simple, but it wasn’t. There were many bumps in the road. I am sure at times I did not have the best attitude.
In addition to long hours Monday through Friday, I also worked from home most Saturdays. On one particular Saturday I was having trouble getting into my work computer from home, so I drove all the way to work, about an hour away. I was feeling sorry for myself and asked God “Why?” Why did everything keep going wrong? Why couldn’t just one thing go right? Why did we have so much trouble and stress?
“This is only a test!”
That was God’s answer. I felt God telling me that this was all a test. Every bump in the road was a test. Every setback was a test. Every brick wall was a test. Every time something went wrong, it was a test.
This realization completely changed my attitude. From then on, I tried my best to stay positive and cheerful. I also tried to help keep my coworkers in good spirits. When my husband asked how work was going, I would tell him, “I love it!” On one occasion, his reply was, “So they let you drink now?” 😉
When life gets stressful or when things don’t go as planned, if we could keep the idea that this might be a test, wouldn’t that help us to handle it differently?
I do believe some tests come from God, as He is always trying to build our character. As long as we are on this earth, He will try to mold us to be more like Jesus. He will try to scrape away the things in our lives that don’t belong.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” – Psalm 139:23-24
However, some tests also come from the enemy. He likes to tear us down, especially when we are doing something for the Kingdom of God. I have a friend who has been trying to write a Christian book for two years. Every time she tries to work on it, she winds up in the hospital. The enemy uses physical battles against her. With me, he uses emotional battles. If I take a step in the right direction, or step out of my comfort zone, he uses other people in my life to attack my feelings. I think since I am an introvert, he knows this is an easy way to get me to keep to myself.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” – 1 Peter 5:8-9
What battles are you facing today? What mountains are in front of you? What roadblocks are in your way? Could it be that some of the things that you are dealing with are only a test?