I have been praying for God to "just send me an email" so I can understand his will for me. I've joked that I just need a neon sign, a phone call, anything so I can just ask him what to do. Today this devotion was in my inbox. There could have been no more perfect devotion for me than this. I have been struggling so incredibly much with trusting God. I have just been a mess. I have been angry with him, I have been depressed, I have been completely overcome with sadness at the thought of leaving Asher in daycare, figuring out our financial difficulties, and with family problems. Today I called Noah's where Katie "grew-up" and they had an opening. They usually have a waiting list, so I called back and asked if Asher could have the opening. His first day is tomorrow. It is breaking my heart that my own financial mistakes are standing in the way of him spending his days with me, but I am going to try to keep waiting on the Lord, trusting Him, and obeying Him...something will work out. Please, O Lord, help me to trust you, and keep loving you even when my heart is breaking.
July 28, 2008
Attention: This is Only a Test
Micca Monda Campbell
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Luke 12:34 (NIV)
Say the word “test” and most people cringe. That’s because tests bring undue stress and pressure that we’d rather live without. Nonetheless, tests have many purposes. They analyze our intelligence or skill; determine what we have learned, and reveal who we are. Then there are spiritual tests. They often try our faith and commitment to God.
Remember the story of Abraham and his beloved son, Isaac, found in Genesis chapter 22? Pause to read it if you haven’t. Through Isaac God was going to build a nation! Can you imagine the pride Abraham must have had for his son? Nothing makes me prouder than to see one of my children succeed, and Abraham knew God had great plans for his son. What on earth could go wrong—especially with a promised child?
You and I both know a lot can go wrong. We’ve probably stood in Abraham’s sandals once or twice in our life times too. And like Abraham, we’ve clung to the promises of God. Yet, sickness lingers, financial troubles invade, friends betray us, and eventually death calls. How do we respond?
Abraham responded with great love, trust, and commitment when God asked for his only son to be sacrificed. Don’t think it was easy for him. Just because you and I know the outcome of the story doesn’t mean Abraham did. He had to trust God every step of the way. Abraham’s mind must have been plagued with thoughts such as, “This doesn’t make sense, Lord.” “You promised, Lord.” “Help me, Lord.”
Determined to obey God no matter the cost, Abraham prepared to take his son’s life. In that dramatic moment, and just in the nick of time, God called from heaven and released both the child and Abraham from the test.
It was only a test. God never wanted the death of Isaac. He wanted the surrendered heart of Abraham. Just as God planned, the test revealed Abraham’s undying love and commitment to God. I believe that Abraham’s faith was expanded too that day in the sufficiency and care of his loving Father.
Unfortunately, this is an area God will always test you and me. More than anything God wants our whole and committed hearts. As painful as some tests are, God is using them to grow us into all He has designed us to be. When our trials don’t make sense, we can trust God. He has promised to set limits on our trials—to walk with us in the midst of them, and to bring forth good.
The question for you and me today is this. When God doesn’t behave like we think He should, when it seems like He has turned the other way and broken every promise, will we still love and trust Him?
When the pregnancy test is negative, will you still love Him? When your loved one dies, will you still love Him? When the job interview falls flat, will you still love Him? When no treatment can be found, will you still love Him?
Dear Lord, I’m guilty of chasing your blessings more than chasing after You. You are all I need. I recommit my heart to you and I will trust you in my present situation. May your will—not mine—be done, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.