Have you studied for the test?

Published 2:47 pm Friday, August 16, 2019

As I sat at my desk today I noticed a pencil left there, I suppose, by one of the children.  There is nothing unusual about pencils lying around our house, but this one was a little different; it had a message engraved on it that included an interesting statement:  “We’ve got a test—I’ve studied.”  And then the statement “Bring on the CRCT!”  I do not know when the pencil was brought to our home, but I hear enough out of the kids to know that “CRCT” is not something they particularly look forward to; perhaps to say that they despise such requirements is a more accurate way to put it.  Yet, as the statement on the white pencil declared “I’ve studied”—means that preparation could be made in advance to successfully complete the dreaded test.

For those of us who have been around awhile, we understand that there are lots of tests in life.  Some of them we might see coming in advance, while most of them appear without warning.  Nevertheless, we do not have to be caught completely off guard for we can do some studying ahead of time that can help navigate us through the treacherous tests of life.  If we discover and apply the words of the psalmist penned long ago, we can be strongly attracted to God’s Word to prepare us to face whatever life brings our way:  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105, New International Version).

When I travel north, it always grabs my attention when I see the remains of a church building that was destroyed by fire.  I do not know the story behind the destruction, but the devastation speaks for itself; all that remains is charred bricks and scorched metal.  The only thing intact is the cemetery behind what used to be a magnificent building where worshippers had congregated for years.  No doubt, those walls contained a lot of happy memories.  Interestingly, the name of the church is “Thankful.” 

It is nearly impossible to remain thankful when disaster strikes, but when we prepare ourselves for whatever eventualities life brings our way through studying and applying God’s Word, we have a source of strength that will sustain us through the most dreadful events of life.  It is wise to remember the words recorded in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

I recall my college days and the hundreds of hours spent studying for tests.  There were some students who seemed to grasp the material with little effort, but I had to go over it numerous times in order to receive the grade that I desired.  And there were those who went in unprepared with little or no studying prior to test day, and the outcome was not good for them.  When we do not properly prepare ourselves spiritually through the study of God’s Word and time with Him, there will be some sad disappointments.  But there is great reward when we face the journey of life spiritually equipped.  Scripture reminds us that “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

That white pencil I discovered on my desk is just a plain number two graphite lead pencil with a worn out eraser, but the message engraved on it is a good reminder for a successful life—a test is coming and “I’ve studied.”  The tests of life will come our way and we can be prepared by allowing our hearts and minds to be filled with the guidance and confidence gained from God’s Word.  Have you studied for the test?  Maybe it is time to pick up the Book and take a look!