Matters of Faith: It’s Only A Test

Rev. J_Loren RussellIT’S ONLY A TEST!

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv


Ever wonder why your tests seem to be so much more challenging than others? Why your tests seem so much more overwhelming? So daunting? So heavy?

I woke up this morning not ready to get out of bed. I did get up to turn off the alarm but got right back in. My usual exercise routine wasn’t done, and my regular scripture recitation and ritual prayer were omitted. One and a half hours after the alarm went off, I finally got up, went into the bathroom and started my day. I didn’t neglect my devotional and study time, but I was not in my usual state of mind. My test was going to be to make this day work in spite of myself.



Please Stand By-It's Only A TestWhen I arrived at my desk and logged onto my computer, I found out that the new Windows 10 had somehow corrupted my files and I could not access my email account or my Word documents for more than 30 seconds at a time, then it would kick me out. I had to make the day work in spite of myself and now, my malfunctioning computer.



I remembered a post I put on Facebook the other day challenging my followers to stop and think, and to ask themselves if their tests were more challenging, more overwhelming, more daunting and heavier than everyone else’s. It always seems that the best students get the hardest tests. This day had to work in spite of me and now my computer ineptitudes.  

I contacted my computer tech who, after shuffling some things around, was able to log onto my computer and begin the long process of reprogramming. I worked from my phone, greatly limiting access to vital files and information. I had to make this day work in spite of me and/or my computer. Then, a crown on one of my front teeth popped off. Not because I was eating or anything, it just popped off. Today, my dentist’s office is closed. Whatever plans I may have made to have face-to-face meetings today were gone. I had to make the day work in spite of myself, my computer, or my raggedy toothed smile.

And it did work! I was able to complete numerous tasks and contact some important people. My computer is back up and running, I have an appointment with my dentist tomorrow morning at 8:00 AM, and I was prayed for.  I began to rejoice and to thank God because I had been tested. I recognized and embraced the fact that I was getting the harder tests because I am favored, because I am blessed, and because I have been equipped and am expected to pass any and every test that has been given!!!

I know how to be abased (that is to fail, to be inferior, to be in want, to come short of), and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me(Philippians 4:12-13).

I know that I am blessed, and I know that you are too! Now, since we are both blessed, all we have to do is go and..,

Be blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

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