Test Anxiety

Most of you reading this know that I was fortunate
enough to be able to complete a second degree a
few years ago (woot!). Throughout that process, I
gleaned a wealth of information while also improving
my critical thinking skills. My mental acuity was put to
the test, and (I like to think) it was sharpened. In
addition, and more importantly, I learned a lot about
myself. One particular thing I learned—confirmed,
really—is that it is never too late to learn. Old dogs
can surely be taught new tricks. I also experienced
something else—I suffer terribly from test anxiety.
Maybe it is a product of my personality, or of my
“season of life,” or something else (I do not
remember experiencing this in college many years
ago). If I were to describe to you the lengths to which
I went to prepare for exams during that time, or the
range of emotions I experienced leading into those
exams, you would roll your eyes or laugh or maybe
just feel sorry for me. Seriously.
No one looks forward to a test. We may look
forward to the test being completed, but we do not
look forward to the test itself. Tests are typically hard.
In almost every case, the tests we take—or face—
have problems that cause us to struggle. They are
tough, and they often reveal our weaknesses. To be
tested is to be exposed. We do not like to be
Right after his baptism, Jesus was tested in
the wilderness. He was weary and hungry. He was
physically alone. He was vulnerable. Precisely at the
moment when Jesus was most exposed, Satan came
to him. And remember this, it was only the two of
them present. Just Jesus facing Satan, mano a
mano. None of the Twelve had yet been called, so
Peter was not there drawing his sword to defend his
Master. Nor were James and John present and eager
to call down fire upon this enemy. It was just Jesus,
who was hungry, tired, and alone, going toe-to-toe
with the Ultimate Tempter. Yet Jesus prevailed.
Why? Because Jesus understood that there is
something more important in life than any of what
Satan was offering. He understood that submission to
God and God’s provision and guidance is what
matters most. It is the highest priority.
Facing a test?

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