Has the weather got you down? Things taking longer than you’d like to change? Traffic getting on your nerves? Or maybe you’ve picked up a few pounds, lost your job, or are just plain stressed out by life in general? It seems winter can be a particularly grueling season to get thru. If so, you are not alone, trust me. Everywhere I go people are asking the same question “Is this ever going to end?” And the answer is always yes. Or as I like to say “This too, shall pass.”

Trials and difficulties are not unusual. Things don’t happen as quickly as we’d like. Our plans get side-tracked by accidents, illnesses, or other unforeseen circumstances. I call them tests. What irritates you? What makes you lose your peace? What makes you ditch the diet and hit the sweets or the peanut butter? If you stop to take a look at your life, I bet you’ll
see a few patterns of your own.                          

This week, I’ve had a lot of tests and I’m sure you have as well. Like when the smoke detector on my cathedral ceiling went off at 4 am. Or when the heavily coughing neighbor stepped into the elevator with me. Or when I couldn’t get the casters on the newly delivered office chair to fit into the base.

Every day is usually a series of tests. Will I be kind? Will I guard my tongue? Will I not react? Will I ask for help? Will I trust? Will I be positive? Will I reach out to help someone else? Will I be generous? Will I be patient?

A good day is when I only have one or two tests and I pass them both. When I reflect back on my day, I think about how well I handled a certain situation. Then there are those days when I remember  how I reacted or what I said or thought and have to ask the good Lord for forgiveness. Self-reflection can be quite a humbling experience, that’s for sure.

The good news is every day we start with a clean slate.  God’s mercies are fresh every morning. I try not to hold a grudge against anyone, including God or myself. Forgiveness is the key to moving on and staying in peace and living in joy. Faith is knowing that whatever happens, God will see us thru it.

So, what kind of tests have you had this week? Pick one scenario that really gets your goat and then resolve to be at peace with it the next time it happens. Resolve to have faith and trust God to provide whatever is needed for the situation and He will. All we have to do is ask.

Until next time, repeat after me “This is a test. This is only a test.” Before you know it, you’ll be speeding along the highway of life and getting an “A” on the quiz!

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