My sister was yet to turn 10 when she finished primary school. As you may guess correctly, she skipped a class. But then, I grew to notice that some schools allow pupils to skip Primary 6, hers didn’t. If you must skip a class, it had to be Primary 5. Now, the way it worked in her school was this: In the first week of every new session, primary 5 pupils will take an entrance examination, a form of advanced exam to test their aptitude and ability to grasp primary 6 syllabus. The best 5 or 10 pupils will be promoted and will join the class above. The rest will still continue in primary 5.
Hang in with me.
There are three categories of pupils that took this exam. Always.
- The first category – are those who are confident that they will scale this entrance test and they did.
- The second category- are those who thought they will pass but eventually didn’t make it.
- The Third category, permit me, but deep down, they know they are not going anywhere, but they just want to try their “luck” and predictably, they failed.
Let me playfully begin with this last category🤣. Till date, it baffles me why they bother to write this exam at all. Like it’s glaring they won’t make it. On a normal day, they are at the bottom of the class. How much more, for an advanced exam which was a little tricky for even those in the first category. I can’t help but conclude they have too much faith…lol
Before I continue, I need to establish this point:
Long before the results are out, even before the questions are set, the teachers know, in every set, who and who has chances of scoring high in that test. They know because they have been with them, studied their academic history, interacted with them on close range and know their abilities. They can predict who can thrive in a higher class, face the challenges of the multiple common entrance exams and whether the idea of skipping a class is advisable or not.
My focus for this post is on the 2nd category:
Those who believed they had what it takes for the next level. If any of the teachers had beckoned on any of them and advised them not to bother with the exam at all cos they won’t pass; they would consider that ridiculous. They may be tempted to think the teacher hates them and does not want them promoted. But the teacher is merely advising based on a higher knowing. And of course they are allowed to take the test and they fail. While it may come as a surprise to them and a disappointment to their parents, it doesn’t take the teachers by surprise.
Isn’t that the same with us?
Sometimes, in our Christian journey, we are in the 2nd group. We are beclouded by our exaggerated sense of our spirituality and the pedestal people around us may have placed us on. We think we are ‘there’ because we speak in tongues, share a ton of ‘Christianese’ posts, are active in several service units in church/fellowship, have been in Christian leadership positions almost all our adult life and therefore, we are led to believe we have what it takes to move to the next level. We think we are ready for the next phase of our ministry. But God thinks otherwise. And He allows us to go through a test.
I love how Charles Swindoll puts this beautifully in his book study on Abraham. In his words:
You can expect more than one divine test in your own faith journey, but God doesn’t use difficult circumstances to find out what we’ll do. He doesn’t test us to observe our response of faith. He already knows us better than we know ourselves, and He already knows what the future holds. He uses tests to reveal us to ourselves! He often uses a test at the beginning of a lesson to show us where we need improvement. A season of learning often follows. A divine test usually exposes what might be called our default response to crisis.Charles Swindoll
Did you read that?
God does not use tests to know what Abigail or Zindar or Patricia will do. He already knows! He is omniscient and 100% accurate!! While your earthly teacher may use your quizzes and tests and exams to test your knowledge or to know where you stand academically or educationally, God uses our tests in a different way. When He allows us to take a test whether a divinely-orchestrated one or the type set by life, God wields our tests as an eye-opening tool in 4 ways:
To be continued…