My husband went in for a stress test this week, and although this was the first time he has undergone this procedure, it wasn’t his first stress test. He’s had many. So have I. In fact, we’ve all had them. If you’ve ever dealt with a difficult or unexpected situation, you too have had a stress test of the God-administered variety.
I don’t think anyone knows stress like Job did, though many of us can certainly relate to him. When we’re first introduced to Job in Scripture it appears that he had a cushy life – at least as cushy as life could be in the days before running water and electricity. Job was a very wealthy man with large herds of sheep, oxen, donkeys and camels; plus ten children who liked to party. Then, in an instant, he lost it all. The only thing spared was his life.
Understandably, Job had a lot of questions for God, just as we often do when we find ourselves in a difficult situation.
“What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant?” ~ Job 7:17-19
The short answer, Job, is “No.”
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8
During difficult times it’s comforting to know that God will never leave me, but when I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing, God’s constant presence makes me very uncomfortable. As well it should. Like most people, it’s not too difficult for me to put on a good front when things are going smoothly. It’s when I’m under duress that I’m revealed for who I really am.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” ~ Luke 6:45
Did you ever say something and then wonder, “Where did that come from?” Now we know – it came from within us. Nothing can come out of our mouths if it wasn’t in our hearts in the first place. Scary, isn’t it?
We would benefit from asking ourselves the questions Job asked. “Would it turn out well if He examined you? Could you deceive Him as you might deceive men?” ~ Job 13:9
We may be good at deceiving people, but no one can deceive God. He knows us far better than we will ever know ourselves. These God-administered “stress tests” reveal us for who we really are. Though this is often painful, it’s also necessary. We’re not likely to submit to treatment for a condition before we become aware of it.
What is God revealing to you today?
Father, thank you for loving me enough to reveal the true condition of my heart. Help me to accept the truth and receive the treatment necessary to make me look more like your Son Jesus.