school busRing, ring, ring!
It’s that time of year again. Can you hear the school bell ringing?
A new school year means new beginnings, new friends, new school clothes, new supplies, new teachers, new classes…
New can be exciting, but it can also be scary and intimidating. Even though as adults we have outgrown going back to school in a literal sense (unless you’re working on a degree—then props to you!), we face new situations that can feel like going back to school. Maybe it’s a new boss or job, or baby, or marriage. The fact is:

“For everything there is a new season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3:1
Seasons change, fashions change (thank God for that!), and we must learn to roll with it or be pummeled. I know this from experience. I have been in the midst of what has felt like continual change for almost three years.
It started with the death of my mom. Outside of God and my husband, my mother was my best friend. Losing her was not just a little life change. It was a landslide that lead to an avalanche of major changes to the typical topography of my life. In fact, my life today looks nothing like it did three years ago.
While being incredibly difficult, that avalanche of change landed me exactly where I needed to be— at the feet of Jesus. This is where I recognized that I have no control over the things going on in my life. Not really. I do however, have control over how I respond to the changes.

I also realized that we are continually going back to school and learning. Only this time, it’s the school of real life. The ‘school of hard knocks’, if you will. There are tests in the school of life. Tests worth more than a letter grade or passing to a new grade level. These tests are designed by God to help us develop in maturity.
(from Rick Warren’s, The Purpose Driven Life)
“Life on earth is a Test. This life metaphor is seen in stories throughout the Bible. God continually tests people’s character, faith, obedience, love integrity, and loyalty. Words like trial, temptations, refining, and testing occur more than 200 times in the Bible. 
We don’t know all the tests God will give you, but we can predict some of them based on the Bible. You will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies.
Character is both developed and revealed by test, and all of life is a test.”

Whether or not you realized it before reading this, you (and I) are on that yellow school bus and headed back to school.
Are you ready?
I have an idea. Let’s get ready together. Throughout the month of September, we will be exploring some “back to school” issues and how to pass the tests they bring.
Until we meet again, dear student of the school of hard knocks, please find hope in the knowledge that throughout our many changes and trials, our God is immovable. When we anchor ourselves to Him, nothing is impossible.

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ “ Matthew 19:26
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
“For I, the LORD, do not change…” Malachi 3:6

Takeaway And Application: God uses life’s tests and trials to grow us.
Are you going through something right now that you think may be a test?
Prayer: Father God, I realize that you are good and you have good plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11). Please teach me how to anchor myself to You and Your Word so that I can grow through this test.

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