When I was in school, it seemed they ran a “fire drill” at least once a year.
A long, loud, kind of scary bell would sound, and we knew it was either a real fire, or more likely, just another drill.
We were formed into lines, ushered down the halls, and out the doors we went. Of course, the point was practice, so we would be prepared for a real fire.
Drills are preparations for real threats. They are “trials”. They test and prepare our readiness, give us opportunity to try on the emotions and actions we would experience in a genuine crisis.
We need them and should even “count it pure joy” because they’re necessary for our growth and maturity [James 1].
And trials are graduated; that is they get harder, kind of like math tests. They seem even to build on one another.
Abraham’s life was like that; just consider the different trials he endured leading to the sacrifice of Isaac.
Life in the world has always been full of real dangers, threats, crises, and disasters, though some of us have been spared from much of them.
Yet now, it seems, we’ve got a tough drill to face; one which can really test our mettle.
Uncertainty, limitation, perplexity, discomfort, and maybe illness pack the power to raise our emotional temperature and really threaten our trust.
Some people are unfazed but plenty of others are moved toward the edges of their capacity to cope.
It’s time to discover our resources; first of all, to remember our Father’s providence in every past drill that He sent us. Even when there was a real fire, He somehow got you out the door. You learned something on the other side of the threat; you were changed. He was there.
His word, “All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His purpose”, is deeply apprehended by people whom the Lord has taken through serious troubles.
“Suffering produces perseverance, (and) perseverance, character…”
Trials are preparation for eternity because they perfect our faith and form the character of Christ in us.
Don’t be surprised when they escalate; the goal is for us to graduate. Anxiety and panic are not for us, but for the faithless.
We just need to tell each other that God will pull us through.
We know the drill. We can pass through.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
–by George Whitten