"Do not lean on your own understanding"

2:15 PM

The last few days before the test force us to do one of two things. We have to have something to put our trust in before we click "Start Test", something that we know will not fail us. We can choose to "believe in ourselves", trusting our own knowledge and understanding, or we can put our faith in a sovereign, omniscient God. He knows everything and will remind us of all that He wants us to know. He knows our rank and score long before we ever take the test, and He knows what is best for us.

On July 31st, the Lord reminded me of many verses to encourage me and give me peace about the next day. I knew that I was not prepared and never would be. The more I studied, the more I realized how very little I knew. I felt a little stressed -- I really wanted to make it to Nationals, but I wasn't anywhere near feeling ready. I thought about Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding." I suddenly realized that this verse had the answer! I realized that I couldn't rely on what I knew and understood, because I knew so very little. I had to trust in the Lord to make me answer the way I should. Somehow, not knowing everything gave me peace. Before I took the test, I had to give it to the Lord, knowing that He knew what was best for me -- even if that meant not qualifying for Nationals.

Well, as all of you Bible Bee contestants know, the week between taking the test and finding out your rank goes very slowly. I had a hard time focusing on anything, and was so glad when Saturday finally rolled around. For various reasons, I'm not going to say on here what my rank was, but I will say that I was overwhelmed by the grace of the Lord in it. I had expected something much farther back, and was very shocked to find out what I had ranked. I had made goals, but this made me realize even more that I can not do it on my own strength. God "is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). He desires to give good gifts to His children because He is a good, loving Father, not because we have earned it. Let's not receive any glory from people, because we don't deserve any of the gifts that He has given us! He is worthy of all the praise.

But what about those who did didn't do as well as they hoped? You see, whether you want to believe it or not, God always does what is best for all those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So even if you didn't get your goal rank or qualify for Nationals or whatever, it's for your good! God's way is perfect (Psalm 18:30). He doesn't make any mistakes. If you didn't qualify for Nationals, keep on memorizing and studying God's Word! Put into practice all that you have learned! Remember, life is the real test, and now you can apply all the wonderful lessons that the Lord has taught you over the past two months! You may not find yourself reciting verses in front of hundreds of people in a few months, but isn't it much more exciting to faithfully serve the Lord?! Now you have the chance to deal with a challenge that is much harder than memorizing hundreds of verses -- submitting to the will of God when it isn't easy. So persevere!

Whether you qualified for Nationals or not, keep seeking the Lord with all your heart! Trust Him to give you exactly what you need at exactly the right time.

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  1. You are so right, Anna! We must only trust in the Lord and leave the results up to His hands. This is such a beautiful article, thank you for writing it. May the name of the Lord be praised, for He has a purpose for us, and will accomplish His will in us, whether that includes nationals or not.

    For both those who made it to nationals and those who did not, God has a purpose for you. He wants you right where you are for a reason. Seek Him to discern what that reason is and then accomplish His purpose for your glory. May He be glorified!

    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to meeting you at Nationals (Lord willing)!

  2. So true! Thanks for posting this. I've been feeling sad because I can't go to Nationals even though I qualified; this post really encouraged me! Thanks!

    1. I'm glad that this was encouraging to you! I'm praying that you can come to Nationals next year!

  3. This mirrored some of my own thoughts during the morning of the test. ;) I've been asking the Lord lately to help me during Nationals to not just gain the head knowledge but apply the studying with the heart knowledge. Sometimes it's easy to loose focus, and I want to "fix my eyes on Jesus" as I go through the next phase of studying. :)

    Congratulations on qualifying for Nationals--I made it too, so I hope to see you in Texas, Lord willing!! :D :D

  4. Thank you for the encouragement!

    Congratulations on qualifying! I think that we tied :).


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