“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves . . .,” 2 Corinthians 13:5
“What? School just started back!” No, that’s not what I’m talking about. When was the last time we really pushed the envelope with ourselves to see what we have in us? When watching television, I sometimes come across shows where people are doing what seems to be the impossible; people who love the adrenaline of seeing just how far they can go with a particular feat. Some of the things I see just make me want to shake my head, and yet, others are actual, honest assessments of endurance; to see if they have what it takes to make it all the way, or to break some sort of record. It’s a testing of one’s strength and stamina.
Tests, for most people, are not pleasant at all. It doesn’t matter if its elementary age level test all the way through college, or a learner’s permit; tests make individuals uncomfortable because they are designed to see what one has in them. If speaking in terms of education, it is probing one’s intellect to see if enough knowledge has been retained and also able to be applied. If speaking in terms of physical endurance, it is working out in the body to see if one is deficient in a particular area, to point out any weaknesses that need to be strengthened for one to gain a particular goal.
This is why tests are not pleasant. Because, it goes beyond the façade on the outside to see what one really has in them. No truer is this more prevalent then in our spiritual lives. The stuff on the inside is quickly hidden as we enter the church doors on a Sunday morning. No one else can see the battles or struggles going on inside. That is, no one else, but God. “For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart, (1 Samuel 16:7). And, it is the test of the heart that really matters; the places where others can’t see.
I live around the corner from a prominent cemetery in our area. It serves the needs of all people, but they specialize in handling the burials of fire fighters and police officers. It is not unusual to see a processional of cars go by on any given day to lay a loved one to rest. Sometimes the line is long and sometimes it is short. If it is one of those specialized burials, then the whole affair is catered to honor the life of the one who has served. There are what seems like hundreds of police cars from all over, horses, raised flags, gun salutes, honor guards and the like. It becomes a beautiful send off in the midst of sorrow.
No matter who it is I often wonder about the individual being laid to rest. It becomes a stark reminder for me to follow the prudent advice of Paul and examine myself. We all have areas that need improvement; things that we can do better. Sometimes a close, personal examination is the only thing that will draw it out of us, to see “whether ye be in the faith.” Are we where we need to be when our time comes to be at the head of that processional? I pray that we all are.
7 thoughts on ““Exam Time, Check it Out!””
Great Post! I agree 100%!
I can totally relate to your thought seeing those funerals. I am also a Fireman and in this line of work I have come eye to eye with many deceased, i often wonder which way they went. It still really blows my mind to think of them as no longer in the natural but head on with the the spiritual. Is it joy, or regret? Its heavy.
I am so grateful for the Hope we have in Jesus Christ!
Amen for that hope. We just laid to rest on this Saturday a police officer who was gunned down during a raid. My heart never ceases being touched at the sight of it all. I pray God’s blessings over you as you continue working with your fellow fire fighters to serve others both in the spiritual and in the natural.
Wow, thats a tragedy, i can totally understand.
Thank you for your prayers and blessings they are greatly needed!
There have been two young people killed this summer in accidents. It was horrible and also an opportunity to remind people about the brevity of life. You just never know.
You’re right. Yesterday we laid to rest another police officer slain in the line of duty for raiding and searching for a 16 year old. He was then shot and killed by another man. Time is short. These constant reminders are God’s graces to us to be diligent in Him and in all that we do.
I don’t take anything for granted of all that God does for me. I testified in church the other night of the ways God continually spares my life. The other night going to church two cars were racing each other on the highway. One was a scant inch from rear ending us and causing something catastrophic. My husband and I both saw it coming. I actually screamed at the thought of impact. But God spared us. Life is brief. Tomorrow is not promised. God is good.
I’m sorry, the funeral is today for the fallen officer.