I’ve always hated tests. I remember the first time I was identified as having an issue taking standardized tests. The teacher took me outside and wanted to make sure I was feeling well and doing okay. I was doing fine and had no clue how badly I had performed on these set of tests. It was surprising to her because I could do the work just fine. But taking tests was a whole different matter. Since then, I have muddled my way through test taking. I have managed to do well enough to get to the places I was trying to go. If I’m honest, though, I still hate tests.
Except maybe this one. The Psalmist is asking God to test him, to check him out. He is asking God to evaluate him, identify his strengths and weaknesses. He wants to show God he is on the right path and is following him as he should.
Not many of us would want to sign up for this test. We would likely avoid having an evaluation of how pure our heart and intentions really are. We probably wouldn’t want God to do a thorough check on how we are living for him, or not. It could give us a whole different perspective, though. If we knew God was testing our hearts, might our love become more pure? If we understood God knows our real intentions, might our actions come from a place of kindness? Might we reflect Christ if we understood we were going to be tested? The interesting part is that God does know. He does know our hearts. He does understand why we do what we do. He does know when we are truly loving him and others. He gets it. He isn’t doing this to punish us or to see if we pass. He is doing this because he seeks those who desire to serve from a place of a clean heart and a steadfast spirit.
Maybe this is a test we should, like the Psalmist, ask for. Maybe it would be helpful to know where we have gone wrong and where we are getting it right. It just might steer us to become a little more like Christ. And that is a test worth taking.
2 Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and mind.
3 For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in faithfulness to you.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery