The Test

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV)

During my childhood, there was a day at school I always dreaded. It was the day the teacher told us to put our pencils in the groove on our desk, fold our hands, and sit up straight while she passed out upside down sheets of paper. These were our tests — the questions that would indicate how well we'd learned the lessons she had taught that year. Earlier in the day, I'd have sat with a group of my friends on the back steps while we took turns asking each other the questions we thought might be on our tests. We prepared for the exam by hiding in our memory the words found in our notes and texts, hoping to be able to retrieve them if they showed up on our test.

Each year, an anniversary date rolls around that reminds me of a different type of test — one of those life tests where I was stripped of my usual family support, friends, and familiar environment. Several years ago on that date, I left the hospital after having spent nearly five months there. At times during my lengthy stay I'd been too sick to read my Bible. Some days I was even too sick to pray. All my energy seemed to be used up just trying to live. The day I left the hospital at the end of those months of physical testing and pain, I knew I'd passed the test. How? Time after time during my illness, God had given me strength to face each day by bringing to my mind His words from Scripture — the ones I'd hidden in my heart prior to the time of testing.

If we hope to come through and pass the difficult times in our lives, times of illness or trouble, then we must prepare before the day of the test. God has given us beautiful promises in His Word. What better time than now will we have to hide these promises in our hearts?

Prayer: Dear God, thank You for Your provision for us. Help us to prepare for the times of testing, and comfort us with Your words during these trials. Amen.

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Elaine Ingalls Hogg <>
Smiths Creek, New Brunswick, Canada

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