Okay, test it again

Endurance is often defined by one's ability to hold out without giving into some impairment or difficulty. In "undergoing" some stress, you are able to come out the other side still standing. Not everything we "undergo" is designed to leave us "standing" - sometimes we need to be in a place that displays a different type of "strength" than being able to "stand". In other words, sometimes the "strongest" place we find ourselves is in admitting our weakest place within! There is something which comes in the times of "trouble" in our lives which has a way of revealing these "weak" spots - and I think God may have just designed the thing we "undergo" to reveal that "spot" so he might help us with that weakness.

My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything. (James 1:2-4 CEV)

Since most think of endurance as the ability to push beyond the "weak spots" in life, it stands to reason we will attempt to "get beyond" whatever it is we are "undergoing" by whatever inner strength we can muster on our own. We think we can somehow avoid coming face-to-face with the weakness we are trying so hard to ignore. Guess what - no matter how hard we try to ignore a weak area, eventually the stress put against that weak area will cause that area to be exposed! Deny they are there all you want, but those tiny areas now become quite translucent and imminently ready to pop!

Our weaknesses have a way of being discovered - not so much in the times when all is going so perfect for us, but in the times we are "stretched" to what we may feel is "beyond" our capacity to endure any more. Most of the testing we undergo is not "in the quiet time" - those moments when we are alone with God and he kind of has us under the "microscope" in the quietness of our personal time with him. Nope - the majority of the testing we undergo is right smack in the middle of living life. Those times of "stretching" soon reveal the areas not previously recognized where we need God's help to replace our weakness with his strength. The stretching brings evidence we are not as strong as we might have thought we were! In fact, we begin to realize we not only have one weak area, but multiple! This is were the opportunity comes for most of us to attempt to conceal the weak area(s). We somehow think if we just "hide away" the weaknesses so no one sees the them, no one will know it is there and we will escape the scrutiny of having that area "exposed".

We might get a handle on the internal pressures, effectively "shutting off" anything else trying to come "in" - but we cannot control all the things coming at us which knock us around a little on the outside! We soon realize if we don't ask God's help to deal with those weak areas, we are about to quit or give int something we didn't want to! I don't know about you, but instead of "proving" I can endure, successfully cut off the flow of what gets inside, and then cleverly manipulating to "cover up" the weaknesses inherent in my character, I am choosing to have God test all the "weaknesses" in my life! Just sayin!


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