Next week is final exam week on campus. Designing exams is something I spend a lot of time on. You see, each class of students is different. And the better you know the class, the more accurate your assessment of their progress will be.
God's grace covers all of us, but he has different tests for each one of us. The tests he has for me are not the same as the tests he has for you. He designs the tests. The tests he designed for Paul weren't the same tests he designed for Peter or John. Or you. They are all designed to remind us that he is greater than our situation, that walking by faith is more powerful than walking by sight, and that his blessing falls on those who trust him regardless. Ten years ago, when I lost my wife to cancer, God gave me the test of widowerhood. Like all his tests, it was appropriate to the job in life he had assigned me to and I tried to accept it gladly. Today, I see that the test of widowerhood is really the gift of widowerhood. As Corrie ten Boom put it so beautifully, "There is no pit so deep that he is not deeper still." She would also say, "Hold things loosely. Then it will not hurt so much when God pries your fingers from them." Like Becky. I don't hold authority over my life. He does. I had prayed as earnestly as a husband can pray, "Thy will be done." And it was.
What is next in God's test? I don't know. You don't know. One thing is sure. We go on living in a fractured world, suffering the effects of sin -- Adam's and our own. Yet in this world of sorrow, he gives us himself with that "love that wilt not let us go." I do not mean to imply that it was God who gave Becky cancer. Cancer is simply the result of the evils that resulted from man's decision to disobey. But whatever our sorrow, he crowns us with his loving-kindness and mercy, and will never abandon us.
All things are safe that are left in his hands.