Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a person who is peripherally in my life. (Peripherally, is the word of the day and I am obliged to use it at least one time in a sentence.)  There is nothing awkward about our relationship; it’s just that over the years there has been only a few of occasions to connect and I have only so much relationship energy. We just never made enough effort to become friends but we’re friendly to each other.  It soon became apparent that covid19 (and along with other cultural factors as well) was taking a noticeable toll on him. He was just a bit too edgy, in tone and tenor. His inquiry was genuine or at least I took it that way but his openness to a conversation was limited at best.  So we did not have much of a conversation but his inquiry put me in my thinking chair. Was/Is God actually testing us? Does God put us into situations to test us?  Is our response to covid19 a test from God?
My initial reaction is to say no.  I don’t believe that God puts me into situations to test me. Now, in saying that I regularly find myself in situations that require me to make choices in my actions and attitude and I tend to believe that faithfulness has a way of leading people into opportunities to be faithful.   In my thinking a test is given to prove what you know but I’m going with the thought that life is given to experience and express whom we know.   I believe that God does not test – not in the way we understand a test but what God does – is to give me life to embody God’s presence in all that I do.  I think there is a big difference in how we enter into situations that challenge our core faith values when we realize that it’s not about passing or failing. God does not test me with situations rather every opportunity I have is a chance to live Christ-like. So what I’ll offer for your pondering is that perhaps it’s not a test in which God gives a grade rather it’s a journey in which I reveal God’s presence in my life and in the world.  

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:7
“so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Reflection Questions:
What does a genuineness of faith look like to you?
Do you think God put us into situations to test us? Why or why not?
With whom do you want to have a better relationship?

Prayer: Holy God, let me breathe in the goodness of your presence and fill me with meaningful opportunities to share life with others. Amen.

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