Then I had a DUH!! moment. It's one of those moments when a light bulb goes off in the brain.
Proofing is a form of testing. The purpose for proofing is to make sure everything is in good order before it's put out there--it's been reviewed and found to be ready.
The actual defintion is...
Proofing [proof-ing] verb; to test; examine for flaws,
errors, etc.; check against a standard or standards.
Consequently, when I'm going through a time of testing, God is putting me through a proofing process. He wants to make certain that I can hold up to His standards (the Bible). God wants to check me flaws and errors (wrong thinking and/or sin). And after all is said and done, I am His representative here on earth. Thankfully, it doesn't mean I have to be perfect by the world's standards, but I should consider the fact when I interact with others.
If you have ever proofed a document, you know you cannot quickly read through it and assume it's correct. The mind has a way of reading into--anticipating--what words should be there that may be missing. To properly proof a document means each word must be examined for spelling, puncutation, and proper usage. It takes time to do it right.
God's proofing process takes time. He wants to get it just right because He knows what I'm being prepared for and why. God also loves me enough that He won't take a quick look and say, Well she's good enough as is, then send me on my way.
It's similar to a new mother taking her baby to see the professional photographer for the first time. She meticulously chooses just the right outfit, combs the baby's hair, smooths the clothes, and coaxes the best smile from the child.
While I don't particularly enjoy the proofing process and all the time it takes, this analogy does help me put things into a different perspective. Usually when I rush is when I hit "send" before I mean to or overlook those glaring errors that might have been uncovered if I'd taken my time. Perhaps this analogy will help me have a little more patience during these proofing/testing times.
Finally, let's hear what the Word says about it...
"Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience." James 1:2-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
"They were for the testing and proving of Israel to know whether Israel would listen and obey the commandments of the Lord, which He commanded their fathers by Moses." Judges 3:4 (NASB)
Thanks for listening.
(A special thanks to Grammarly on Facebook for the images.)