Sunday, December 29, 2013

Testing: A Parent's Perspective

A friend was once describing to me the time in which she took her child in for a medical test. The child was young enough that she didn't understand what was going on. Although the test wasn't painful, it did involve some momentary discomfort. You see, the procedure was necessary to determine whether a problem the child was born with still existed and required additional treatment.

This parent described the scene in which she had to place her child in the hands of others for the test, but was able to remain in the room and nearby the whole time. During the test, the child looked to the mother for reassurance and asked to be held. In response, mom had to look confidently at the child and reassure her with a smile and encouragement. However, mom's heart was breaking the whole time because all she really wanted to do was remove the child from the test and hold this child who desperately wanted and needed her. Yet, mom knew that the test was necessary and that it wouldn't last long, so she hung in there.

After listening to this description, I immediately got a picture of how my heavenly Father might feel when I'm going through a time of testing and gave me a different perspective. He knows a test is necessary to prove something. The test may be unpleasant and may feel like it's never going to end. But tests always serve a purpose and ultimately they bring glory to God.

Although I've written about this topic of testing several times before, I've never viewed it from this point of view. It gives me another perspective of God's love for me. Even if my circumstances aren't pleasant, my heavenly Father hasn't abandoned me or forgotten me. He's right there at all times. He's watching carefully. He's reassuring when I look to Him and whispering words of comfort when I need it.

Yes, our heavenly Father loves us...

"We love, because He first loved us."1 John 4:19 

"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.  
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; 
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:9-10

and allows us to be tested...

"The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him 
with all your heart and soul." Deuteronomy 13:3b

"O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, you test those who are righteous,  
and you examine the deepest thoughts and secrets." Jeremiah 20:12

  • to prove that God is working in our lives
  • to prove that our faith is genuine
  • to purify us
  • to demonstrate His love and power
  • to produce Christlike character in us
  • to equip us

But, He's always there for us. What a comforting thought!

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