Friday, November 20, 2015


When I first read the word, I had to make sure I was reading it right.. so I did what all millennials do, I used the google dictionary!  There are two parts of examination that struck me:

Examine- an internal examination of ones-self; the discipline of exploring the how and what of our actions.  This is a tough one for me.  I tend to be very self deprecating.  If there is a conflict, the first person I blame is myself.  Since I have this tenancy, my self examining tends to lean towards me telling myself how terrible I am.

But God... when I focus on God, while examining my heart the view is much different. I am able to see my own fallacies, need for improvement and thoughts.  At the same time, he shows me who I am.  He lets me know who I serve.  He gives me a reason for doing the examination in the first place.

When I focus inwardly, I don't desire to change.  When my focus of examine is heavenward, I am propelled toward change.

The second part of the definition is a testing.  I was immediately reminded of how James tells us testing will cause us to be more complete, to lack nothing.  Oh how I want to lack nothing. In the process of learning not to lack, is the process of giving up.

Testing is difficult.  Most people don't choose to walk into a trying time.  I would have to say I like to join with the sentiment.  I told our pastor's wife that I am not sure I would re-choose the path we had taken if I knew what it looked like.  Her response: most people wouldn't.

It affected me profoundly.  God doesn't show us the whole picture because it involves a lot of testing, trying and becoming more and more like him.  While I can be brave in the moment and say I am glad he choose to test me. I am glad he allows me to grow and change.  I hope the next test that comes along I remember what I just told you!

James 1:2-4The Message (MSG)

Faith Under Pressure

2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas

This post based on Velvet Ashes the Grove's word of the week.


  1. I really like the way you distinguish between examining inwardly and examining with a heavenward focus, and how that affects our desire to change. Good thoughts!

  2. I'm with Jodie. It's so true that when I'm being self focused inwardly, as odd as it sounds, I tend to want what's around me to change - not me. But focusing on God and eternity motivates me to change inwardly. I also agree that if we knew the path ahead of time it would be a lot harder to choose it!