We often think of being blessed and well accomplished in life, but we seldom consider the fact that there’s always a price to pay. We often hear this saying: ‘nothing good comes easy.’ But do we really believe that nothing good comes easy?
There is no testimony without a test! For us to end up blessed and successful in life, we have to be tried and sifted for our blessings to be genuine and authentic. It is natural for people to place low values on things that are gotten freely.
For example, if you own a house you didn’t build or buy yourself – that is, if it was just handed over to you – there is a high probability that you will take lesser care of the house than you would if it was built or bought by you.
We humans have the tendency of devaluing or placing low values on things we get for free. That is why God allows us to go through testing times in order to receive our blessings. Most often, we are left alone in our testing period; we are left to carry our cross alone, left to fight our battles alone, left to face our fears alone. Just alone.
The time you feel like you’re alone is most often when friends and family turn their backs on you, desert you, or disappoint you. It’s heartbreaking and frightening to be abandoned and overlooked. But it is in this period you must generate the strength to push and endure till you come out victorious.
Remember, there is a silver lining behind every dark cloud. A lot of us have been through tough times. And some of us might still be going through tough times. Sometimes it gets so hard that we just want to give up. But we should never give up on ourselves. There is no promised land without a wilderness.
Booker T. Washington understood that he had to go through the wilderness for him to get to his promised land, so he didn’t allow the difficulties he faced to make him lose focus of his goal. He endured till the end. He endured his struggle for an education and he finally got an education.
At the age of sixteen, Booker T. Washington had to face lots of trouble and hardships in order to get admission to a school. He used to work in a coal mine where he happened to know about the Hampton Normal and Agriculture Institute in Virginia, which was far better than the one in his own town. Having discovered how much people appreciated the school, he made up his mind to go to that school although he knew nothing about its location.
In 1872, with reluctant permission from his mother, he left for Hampton with very little money and a small bag with few clothes. He walked and begged rides and in a number of days he reached a large city called Richmond, about eighty-two miles away from Hampton. He was completely out of money, hungry and tired but not discouraged.
Having no place to go, he crept under a raised platform on a pavement. The next day, he went in search of some work as he was very hungry. He saw a cargo ship unloading pig iron. The kind-hearted Captain of the ship gave him work and he finally earned his breakfast for the day.
Due to his good work, the Captain asked him to continue work. He still slept under the sidewalk and finally managed to save money to reach Hampton. The sight of the school building seemed to him a reward for the hardship he faced. But here he could not make a favorable impression on his teacher as he had been without proper food, rest, bath, and change of clothing.
The teacher did not refuse admittance nor did she decide in favor. She kept giving admission to other students which troubled him all the more. He desperately wanted his chance to prove his worth and he got it when the teacher finally asked him to clean the recitation room.
He swept and dusted the room several times as he knew that his future depended upon it. The teacher came and inspected the room thoroughly and could not find a bit of dirt. She finally admitted him to the school. He was extremely happy. And all through his life, he considered the cleaning of the room the best examination he ever passed.
Booker T. Washington took the test. He is long gone but his testimony still lives on. He took the test and testified.
There is no testimony without a test! It is natural to feel that all hope is lost when you are going through dark times in life. It is natural to feel the urge of anxiety when things don’t seem to be working out the way you want them to. But it is beautifully and perfectly natural to see every challenge, every disappointment, as a test you must pass in order to get to the next level. We often look at the happening rather than the lesson. There is a lesson to learn from everything we experience in life.
Our trials and challenges are opportunities for us to muscle up and strengthen our faith. But on the contrary, a lot of us easily break down and give up when trials come our way. God is not interested in seeing us suffer. He is so loving and He wants us to trust Him even when we are in our lowest state.
Why Must We Take the Test?
Life often hands us numerous tests out of nowhere. It’s something that we cannot see coming or can be prepared for. The only thing we can do is look back at how we passed or failed the previous tests and learn from them. Here are the beautiful reasons why we must take the tests of life:
- It gives us reason to muscle up and not let our goals slip away.
- It teaches us the necessary lessons we must learn so that we can be able to face the future.
- It authenticates that our blessings are genuine.
- It gives us reasons to be humble and loving towards our fellow human beings, no matter how blessed and powerful we become.
- It qualifies us to be able to properly manage our greatness.
- It helps us to recognize the needs of other people when we see them.
- It validates our testimonies and makes them motivational instruments for strengthening other people and giving them hope.
- It makes us aware of our potential and abilities to overcome.
- It causes us to realize how ugly it is for humankind to live with the mindset that we can live without one another.
- It causes us to remain focused, keeping in mind that we should do all we can to not go back to the difficulties of the past.
There is no testimony without a test. So when we are faced with challenges and difficulties, we should build our faith and see the challenges and difficulties as stepping stones to our success. We must stand up and stand firm when hard times come our way, and we must make sure we turn every dark cloud into sunshine.
What must we do to be able to take the test and testify?
To be able to take the test and testify, we must believe in ourselves because we were created with so many potentials, abilities, skills, talents, and gifts.
To be able to take the test and testify, we must discover ourselves and bring out the best in us.
To be able to take the test and testify, we must never lose hope no matter the heaviness of the difficulties we face.
To be able to take the test and testify, we must build in us the spirit of a fighter. We must learn to fight till we win.
To be able to take the test and testify, we must never lose focus on what our goals and priorities are, and we must always assure ourselves that overcoming challenges is the requirement for our success.
Know that the best person to help you is you. Let us continue to remind ourselves that we are conquerors! We are winners! Because winners don’t quit, and quitters don’t win!
Always remember, Truth is the greatest religion!