Something to think about
Have there been times in your life when you have felt like you are being tested? Would you tell someone else that you think God is testing them?
Sometimes the language of testing is used to explain away or even justify suffering. It can be an idea we reach for when someone we know looks to us for the reason behind a difficult experience. Like Job's comforters we can be tempted to take a "God's-eye-view" of events and imagine that we can know exactly why something is happening.
This becomes dangerous when those in power use the language of testing to describe the suffering of the powerless.
It also overlooks the other important part of this scriptural imagery. This verse is not just about testing but about the testing and refining of something deeply precious. When we go through testing times what can we do to remind ourselves of our value? What can we do to remind others that they are precious to God, this day and always?
Something to do
Do you know someone who is going through a testing time? Plan a small step to show them how valuable they are to you and to God.
Learn about Christian Aid's appeal for Ukraine by following the link below.
Hold the people of Ukraine in your prayers.
Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal - Find out more
Something to pray
A traditional prayer for night time:
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight,
and give Your angels and saints charge over those who sleep.
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest Your weary ones.
Bless Your dying ones.
Soothe Your suffering ones.
Pity Your afflicted ones.
Shield Your joyous ones, and all for Your love's sake.
(Augustine of Hippo, 354-430)