My heart hurts.
It is not heartburn—not anything I ate, and not because my heart's on fire for the Lord.
It's stress. I can handle the pressures of obligations okay. Physical exertion has never bothered me (at least not until the last few weeks). But there's been just a wee bit too much emotional stress in my life. And so the doctors say:
+ normal EKG
= stress test.
I understand the concept. Put increasing stress on my heart, observe how it reacts, and obtain a diagnosis so that the doctor knows what treatment plan to recommend.
Since I already know that stress is what caused the problem, I'm not entirely thrilled about the idea of going in today to see how much more stress my heart will take and how it will react. But I also understand that being tested is the process by which we learn where we're strong and where we fail so that we can do something about it.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me ...
~ Psalms 139:23-24 (NKJV)
Maybe cardiologists got the idea for stress tests from God. He's the Expert in that field. The difference is that with God, He already sees into the heart and knows exactly where there's a problem. His tests aren't to prove to Himself what's a problem, but to show us where we're weak so that we can cooperate with His treatment plan.
And then sometimes He tests us to show us where we're strong so that we can engage that strength in His service.
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
~ James 2:21-22 (NKJV)
God knew Abraham's heart. But did Abraham know his own heart until he raised the knife above Isaac? And didn't his heart of faith become stronger through the faith offering?
Stress tests from God should be expected. Some failures should be no surprise, though they should also result in us growing stronger in faith. And when we, like Abraham, pass with flying colors, we know our Father smiles upon us for proving what He knew we could do all along.
His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
~ Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)
Precious Lord, we are Your unworthy servants. We dare not ask You to test us without fear and trembling, knowing the sin which lurks in our hearts. Please be gentle with us. Please give us the courage to be tested by You and remain standing.
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Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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