Being Put to the Test

Being Put to the Test
In the Lord’s Prayer, there is a line that says: “and lead us not into temptation”. A more contemporary translation has it: “and do not put us to the test”. One definition of the difference between temptation and testing is in the motivation of the one doing the tempting and/or testing. This makes good sense. Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness to disobey God. If we are tested in some way in life, God is looking to refine our character and build faith.
I was thinking about the difference between temptation and testing when I heard some of the youth at church talk about having to start 2-a-days. For those unfamiliar with the expression, it refers to the practice schedule the two weeks prior to the beginning of a new school year. It used to be mainly about football practice, but now it involves a variety of sports, and even the marching bands do it. 2-a-days is a practice in the morning for several hours and that again in the late afternoon for several more hours. I remember my first two weeks of 2-a-days, I was going into 7th grade in 1969 and I wanted to play football and it was just as hot then in Marietta, Georgia as it is in August in Germantown, Tennessee.
Well, I had never before in my life been put to the test physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually like I was during my first experience with 2-a-days. Yet, I met the test and was a better person for having done so. In many ways 2-a-days helped me understand and endure other challenges and tests in life over the years.
Maybe that is what God is doing in your life today, putting you through some test to bring out some strength, some wisdom, or to develop your faith, and teach you to rely on God’s strength to face the tests of life. To all of the youth out there going through the grind of 2-a-days, persevere, you will be a better person for it!
God bless you,
Dr. C. Gregory Darden, Pastor
Faith Presbyterian Church