Any time the screeching sirens for the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant sounded, I always stopped and waited until I heard the familiar computer trills and the blaring recording of, “This is a test. This is only a test.” Though only seconds passed between the first signal and the reassurance that this was not the “Big One,” a thought always raced through my mind. “Where is my designated evacuation route?”
When a trial or test disrupts our life we often react as if a blaring emergency signal is announcing – This is the Big One! I certainly don’t want to downplay the suffering of going through a Big One, and I’m not about to minimize the suffering of tragedies, disasters, and chronic pain, but not all trials fall into the Big One category.
We all have aches and pains and complaints about life. We face disappointments, loneliness, financial stress, discouragement, rejection and health issues and many of us have survived at least one Big One. For the most part, though, our trials aren’t life altering, and they are common to all Christians.
Recently, when I was making plans for a self-pity party – complete with a pint of Chunky Monkey ice cream – I took a moment to evaluate the reason for my mood. I knew exactly what was troubling me and I needed more than a cheery internet meme or a scripture verse to make me feel better. God, however, has a way of using our own words to speak to us. Out of my recent weeks of studying and writing about “God’s Teaching and Testing Methods” came the blaring message—
This is a Test! This is only a Test!
When I began to view my disappointment as “a test,” I stopped feeling sorry for myself. God had walked me through many tests and would be with me in this situation. I think that when a trial jolts us out of our complacency, we need to stop in our tracks and take a moment to be honest with ourselves. Is this just a test? Am I failing to trust God in this test?
Just as “Florida Power and Light uses the siren system to improve public awareness of its function and ensure its operability,” I think some of these trials slip through the Lord’s filtering hands in order to quality-check our trust and to remind us of the designated route to spiritual growth and safety.
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it. I Corinthians 10:13
Martha Hawn VanCise©2016 www.signpostsonhightrails.com
This is a Test. This is Only a Test is the 3rd Signpost in the series “God’s Teaching and Testing Methods.”