Preparing for the Test – Of Decaf and Delight

You have tested my heart.
You have visited me in the night.
You have tested me and not found anything.
I have resolved that my mouth will not disobey.

Do you remember what test-taking was like in school? I sure do—don’t think I could forget even if I wanted to. It was one thing during my homeschool years when I could work one-on-one with my mom, making me feel as prepared for every test as possible well in advance. The year I went to public school was much more brutal; I can still remember the suffocating atmosphere of the math room as I struggled over yet another test I knew I’d be lucky to get a C on, because all the lessons leading up to it were just as confusing to me as the ones on the paper now. And it didn’t help that whenever I asked for help in class, the teacher loved to give me a 5-to-10-second silent stare-down before she reluctantly demonstrated the task. Just so I’d really grasp how stupid she thought I was.

Yep. Test-taking can be brutal.

But why is it brutal? What set the experience in my class of thirty apart from our homeschool class of two? It’s simple, really; when I was working one-on-one with my mom, I felt better prepared. The tests were a breeze because we’d devoted as much time as needed to the subject beforehand; sometimes that meant spending an hour on math homework but just thirty minutes on creative writing, since the latter was my longsuit and the former most certainly was not.

Ultimately, we don’t dread the tests we’re prepared for. I’d go into every creative writing test in both home and public school with my head high, knowing I could pass because I felt prepared. I was ready, inside and out. Math was the one that tied my stomach in knots! The same goes for all parts of life; when we’re tested in the places we’re strongest, we can step into the furnace without fear. We know the stuff we’re made of; we know we can take the heat.

I look at the psalmist’s words above and feel a profound yearning in my heart. How many of us could face God’s testing and have Him find nothing of wickedness in us? Have we repented of our sins and let the blood of Jesus cover those blemishes that leave us wanting? Are we clinging to things that cause our mouths to disobey? If God comes to test us, are we ready?

Someday, whether near or far in the future, we will all face the testing – the Day of Judgement when we stand before the throne. That day we will all be tested, and I know none of us wants to go into that test unprepared. Before that time, let’s make our hearts right. Let’s expose every sin and blemish to the light and offer it up in repentance to be covered by Jesus’ shed blood. Let’s ensure we’re striving for the greatest, holiest life we can, so that when our hearts are tested, we can face that fire prepared. And may we be visited with God’s blessings as He finds we, too, have resolved ourselves no longer to disobey. 

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1 comment

  1. excellent reminder of preparation for the inevitable tests.

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