The Stress Test

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1 ESV

As the treadmill stepped up to another difficulty level, it became more and more difficult to keep up with it. Every three minutes it increased the incline and speed until I was literally running uphill. I had monitors taped all over me and the hospital staff was closely watching a computer screen with little jagged lines that scrolled by while it recorded my progress.

Before I started, I had asked them if there was a time limit or a difficulty goal and they said just run until you cannot run anymore. When I asked about a level cap, they just smiled and said no one beats the machine. After four or five increases, I totally agreed and finally told them that I could not go on. At that point it was more like torture than a stress test. They began to slow the treadmill where I could get off but that took a little while. (For those wondering, they said I did excellent).

When walking with God there are times when we will endure a stress test. Jesus Himself did because it was written that he endured the cross and His sweat was as great drops of blood (Luke 22:44). During these times, there is a great cloud of witnesses watching us take this test and no matter how much faith you have, God has a test for that level. At a point in my life, I thought that I had great faith but God had a great test for it. In the end, I was a broken man. No one beats the machine because it scales accordingly. If you disagree, read the book of Job again and picture yourself in his place.

God knows how much you can take and He is not out to kill you. When you have finally reached your limit He will slow the treadmill. Like me though, you may find that you can go much further than you thought you could and you will be stronger in the end.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me grace and strength to serve you with all of my heart. Help me face the challenges that come with the right attitude, in the name of Jesus I pray.

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