Relax...This Is Only A TEST!



It was the summer of my upcoming 40th birthday. I remember bringing in a stack of mail and slowly opening each envelope after an exhausting workday. At the bottom of the stack was an announcement from our local Recreation Center highlighting the start of Summer Fun Swim classes!  

It grabbed my attention. I enjoy pools, beaches, and lakes…I’m an excellent FLOATER yet the card beckoned me to REALLY learn to swim. A week later I enrolled in Level 1 Adult Swim---learning how to navigate in 3 feet of water with little our nose plugs and floaties---a sight to behold. Like Coach Knute Rockne says---“This is a football”…We heard …This is a pool!

By the end of my first month, I was hooked and couldn’t wait till the next Level of training was available.

Little did I know, God simultaneously used it as a tool to TEST my trust level in Him! In 60 days we progressed from floaties to the breaststroke, the backstroke…then butterfly! The day finally came in Level 3 for us to swim the FULL length of the pool.

For 90 days…for three months I took instruction, I had excitement and my fellow swim buddies we talked a lot of “smack”…

Now, it was time to APPLY everything we were taught, apply what we "knew" and put the moves into action from the 3-foot end of the pool all the way across to 15-foot of water!

Googles on, I took a deep breath, poised and ready to go…I heard the whistle and began breast stroking across the pool as my head tilted left and right I could see my fellow classmates in their lanes.

We smiled and kept stroking---3 feet, 4 feet, 5 feet…then 6 feet…this was the first time I’d actually encountered the “dreaded drop” to the other side.

As I looked down and saw myself crossing the drop line my heart started to pound,  my arms began to shake and mind began to say---“go back… you’re going to drown”…

Yet at the same moment, I said in my heart---Jesus HELP me!

Then I felt an assurance as a still small voice said “Sssshhhh, trust ME don’t look down focus on what’s ahead…Ssssh, I’m right here with you.” 

My body burst into turbo gear with that Word of encouragement and before I realized it---I touched the wall on the other side! I climbed out of the pool amid cheers from my coach and each swim mate as we emerged one by one. Tears came down my face…the coach congratulated each of us as he gave certificates for passing the test. As he handed me mine, he said—“I knew you could do it, you had to see it for yourself”.

"And Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down there with His disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was approaching. Jesus looked up and saw that a large crowd was coming toward Him, and He said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread for these people to eat?” But He said this to test Philip, because He knew what He was about to do. Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii (200 days’ wages) worth of bread is not enough for each one to receive even a little.” John 6:3-7 AMPC

Jesus asked Philip--- how would he (Philip) respond to the vast need of the crowd?

Yet, Jesus ALREADY knew what HE planned to do. He was proving out Philips faith [which is ironic because Philip walked and talked with Jesus daily, saw the miracles and sadly still trusted in his own capabilities instead of Jesus Christ]. Hmmm…sounds similar to today.

Philip saw LACK to meet the demand---Jesus already saw the SOLUTION!

There are seasons and moments in our walk with Christ that the time of learning, the time of talking will end with a TEST!

It’s a time to PROVE out what one believes---will we believe Him in the midst of the test? Will we trust that His promises are true in every situation we may encounter? Will we be proven that we believe HE is THE GREAT I AM...or...will we turn back? [And inevitably have to take the test AGAIN?!]

He’s promised to NEVER leave nor forsake us—through trial, tribulation, feast, famine and 15 feet of water.


He’s simply proving you for YOU to see how much you believe. May we take a lesson from Philip and not look at our limited capabilities, but look to the UNLIMITED supply power of Christ.

If you are in a season of TESTING, may you too be encouraged---“Ssssh, I’m right here, I’ve got you!”

May you make the conscious choice with the grace of God to PASS THE TEST.

We are CHEERING you on to get safely to the other side of it!

Set your eye on the goal…and STROKE my GEM Friend…STROKE!


 Michele, Certified Strategist

"Helping You Get...UNSTUCK"







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