Sunday, February 28, 2010

Testing, Testing

I read this the other day in my daily quiet time and it spoke right to my soul as I have been worrying and fretting over the possibility of losing my job and as much as I would like to take credit for it, it isn't mine, but it really spoke to me.

"Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin." ~ Exodous 20:20

The good news about test is that they occur over a finite period of time. Even the SAT is only three to four hours long! There is a set beginning and established end to the testing period. The buzzer goes off, and you get up and go. Why then do believers get frustrated with God, thinking that the test they're sweating through will never end? Even the Israelites were brought through the bondage as slaves in time.

God's test do three things for us. First, they prepare us. He knows what's around the bend and what strengths we will need to deal with what is ahead. Second, they perfect us. After a high-school student takes that final exam, the student is promoted to the next grade level. If you're in the midst of a God-sized test, get ready for your promotion, because it's coming! Finally, God's tests produce the fruit of the spirit in us: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all given to us as a result of the tests we take.

Are you in a time of testing? The good news is, you can take it "open book" style. Just get out your Bible and read to know what God wants you to do.

~from Babes with Beatitude by Linda P. Kozar & Dannelle Woody

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Birthday Number 26

Well, today is my 26th birthday and I finally decided to go through with it and create a blog. I know, I know, it's not really that big of a deal, but for me this is a big committment to keep up with!

Life has been busy over the past few years, between work and church, but we've created a lot of great memories that I don't want to forget! Tyler took me to dinner tonight at my favorite restaurant, The Homeplace, and we started talking about how long we've been together. I protested when Tyler said we'd been together for a quarter of our lives, but then he helped me with the math since I'm an English teacher and don't do math, and I was surprised to learn that he was right! (I know, it's a first in me admitting to him being right!) We talked about how amazing it is that we have been together so long. Back at Valentine's day I thought about the first Valentine's day gift I gave Tyler, a memory book with all the reasons why I loved him. I decided that after 6 years, it was time to update those reasons. It was a fun process, and I realized that our love has changed and deepened over the past few years, and I can't imagine how it will grow over the rest of our lifetime.

God has been so good to us, we were truly blessed from the start, but the past year and a half has tested our faith in many ways. Right now as I await news of whether or not I will have a job for next year, it's easy to become anxious and fearful, but I am learning to count our blessings and trust that God will still be God even if the news isn't good. I know that God gave me this job to begin with and I truly believe that He will provide another job if this one is taken away. In fact, I'm somewhat anxious to see what He has in store and where He is taking us on this journey we call "life." While I love what I do for a living, I know that living in God's will is the only way to find true joy and peace in life, and right now I'm resting in the promises of God's provision and purpose for my life. It's not fun waiting, but as one of my favorite songs puts it:

"While I'm waiting, I will serve You. While I'm waiting, I will worship. While I'm waiting, I will not fail, I'll keep running the race, even while I wait."

"But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Is. 40:31

For now, I am waiting...