Stress Test

Every few years my doctor orders a stress test for me. Well, today is the day. Later this afternoon I will be going in for a stress test. The purpose of this test is to see if there is anything in my heart that needs attention or correction in order to avoid a major heart attack or heart failure later on. They will put me on a treadmill increasing the speed and slope until my heart rate is accelerated, then they monitor me for signs of trouble.

I normally have two or three stress tests a week, but seldom do I have the privilege of scheduling one. God orchestrates or allows these stress tests in my life on a regular basis. These tests are not necessarily, in the short term, to make me stronger, but rather, to reveal to me where I am weak.

God gave these tests to the Israelites throughout the Old Testament. Jesus did the same thing with his disciples. God did not give these tests so He could find out where they were in their development; He already knew. The tests were for them to learn. Sometimes the Israelites passed the tests and sometimes they failed.

Failing a test is hard. We often discover that we may not be as strong or as mature as we thought. Failing a test is no excuse for beating ourselves up or for quitting. Failing a test means that I learn something about myself that is true and now corrective action must be taken.

I have always loved passing tests – who doesn’t? Passing a test tells me I am somewhere between OK and great in that area. Failing means that God and I have work to do in my life.

I cannot say I am looking forward to this afternoon’s stress test, but I am glad it is happening for what I can learn and change. Failing a test today could result in saving my life tomorrow.

Let’s recognize the stress tests in our lives and embrace them as growth opportunities.



One Response to Stress Test
  1. Ann G.

    Awesome parallel Pastor Doug. Thanks for sharing! I love this perspective.