Sunday, September 18, 2011

"I don't get it."

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That phrase haunts me at times.

There are many other times though that people don't speak up and say something like that - choosing to walk away unable to comprehend and apply what they've been taught - and that's scarier.

At school, we have a highly structured routine of "assessments" to help the teacher discover where their students are and how they are progressing. There are "diagnostic" assessments for initial understanding of what they know. There are assessments along the way called "formative" to see what they are learning. Then there are "summative" assessments that see what they have learned. As a teacher, it's thrilling to see them progress to "mastery" of a block of knowledge. The flip side of that?

Heartbreak when they don't.

Life doesn't provide us the luxury of such a structured understanding of what we know, what we are learning, and what we have mastered. We can be thrown into circumstances that test our faith that we have never imagined would occur. We can be asked to make a decision that is life-altering without any real expertise in that area. And we can, and will experience failure and heartbreak - some of us many times over the course of a lifetime.

Life is a test.

And yet, we have the key.




I'm ready to talk about the feeding of the 5,000 today. The famous passages in the Bible, the flannel-board picture we all have in our heads - the little boy and his lunch - everything that story is for most of us is already part of our understanding.

And yet, the disciples and the religious people didn't "get it."

It was God peeking into their souls and dropping a test onto their desks to see what they ACTUALLY believed. Not just knew - believed to the point of living it out.

Is God good? Can He be trusted? Can I rely on Him for my life's direction, purpose, and provision?

I've given tests in the month I've taught third grade that very few passed. Well in this case out of maybe 25,000 people...

Only one did.

I'll bet he'd be about third grade age.

"Sure, take my lunch. Something about you tells me you'll know what to do with it. I'll just sit over here and watch."

and then...

"I love fish sandwiches!"

Friends, God can't use what you have for His glory and purpose in this world until you open your hands and release it back to him.

Life is a test. How are you doing?

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