Peace

“I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

 

Do you ever feel like you’re walking along in life, doing what you are supposed to be doing, or at least you think so anyway, and yet you wonder why you aren’t receiving any confirmation from God that you are on the right path? I’m reminded specifically of my Statistics class in college on test day. I was struggling on a particularly difficult problem on my midterm. I was pretty sure I knew how to start figuring out the answer but if only the teacher could just give me a nod, a wink, just pass by and give me an indiscrete thumbs up, you know, something to reassure me that I was at least on the right track. Boy, I’d sure have felt a lot better about the direction I was going. If I didn’t start this problem off on the right step, I could have went in a whole different direction and came up with an entirely different answer that wouldn’t have been accurate. It may have looked good, but sure wouldn’t have landed me where I was supposed to be. But, on test day the Professor was silent. No winks, nods or thumbs up. Just silence. Sitting behind his desk trusting we’d all make him proud as he’d been teaching us this stuff all semester. Darn! Why hadn’t I paid more attention? Why can’t we have more than just an index card for notes? I couldn’t even read my tiny handwriting as I tried to write the entire chapter on my 3×5 index card. I had to pass this test, it carried so much weight for my overall grade and it was a prereq for my next semester course. Talk about pressure. But…we were calmly reminded by Professor Randall before we began our exam that everything we needed to pass this test had already been given to us. He set the timer and said, “begin.” All the math nerds got right to work and were on page two while I was still biting my nails trying to figure if he wanted us to write first name, last name or last name, first name. I finally start and it isn’t so bad until I realize I forgot to write the rules for figuring out the margin of error for standard deviation on my index card at which point the only statistics I was sure about was that there’s 100% chance I’m not going to get this answer right. But…a week later, and after scanning over all the red marks, I found out I actually passed with a 92%. So I didn’t get every question right but…I still hit the mark.

 

Isn’t that just how life is? We enter into a season of testing from God and all of a sudden when we need Him to be clear for us, when we so badly want Him to speak, He’s silent and we can’t get the answers from other people. But, just like my math Professor, God hasn’t left the room. Infact, He’s watching us with much intent. He’s set a timer and in His perfect timing our test will end. It won’t last forever, He promises that to us! So, are we going to do well and pass the test, acting and relying on all He’s already taught us, reading His love notes to us to keep us on track when we feel like we don’t know the next step? Or…are we going to throw our pencils down and say we can’t do it and give up? The thing with that is…the timer can’t be reset. It’s still ticking and your test is either going to come again because you refused to take it and take it well, or your time is going to be up and you’ll have missed the opportunity to take it at all. There aren’t always redo’s in life. Sometimes, but not always.  I’m eternally grateful for those times when God has given me a second chance at my screw ups but it makes my heart very sad to think of all the time I’ve let pass where I just chose not to perform or I performed very badly. You see, it’s in the quiet moments of our relationship with God where we really get an opportunity to rely on Him in faith. As Christians we are called to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, He already knows we aren’t. All He asks is that we at least follow Him into the storm. Step out of your comfort zone. Maybe you can’t hear Him, maybe you can’t see Him but you know He goes before you. His hand reaches out behind Him, like a mother as she reaches back for her child to grab hold so she can be sure he’s there as they walk through a crowd. He’s prepared you for such a time as this. Be confident in Him. You can’t fail with Him on your side. You’ve been warned that a test will come, we all will have them but you will never miss the mark if you’ve been listening to your Teacher before the test even began.

 

Whatever you are facing right now, as you read this, know that you’ve been given a test because there is greatness to be revealed in you that will only come from your trials. You aren’t called mediocre, you aren’t called a failure, you are called a child of the Most High King. To Him, you are an A+.

 

Leah Parkin

October 17, 2018