Next week the students will take their semester exams. This can be a week filled with anxiety and stress. Everything they have studied, and hopefully learned, over the last five months will be on a test that is worth up to 20% of their grade.
It is interesting to watch how students go about preparing for their semester exams. Some students appear to be wishing exam week away. Maybe if I ignore it long enough then it won't actually happen. Others have been stressed for weeks and it looks like they are surviving on three cups of coffee a day. Then there is the overconfident group who claim it is the easiest week of the year and there is no need to study. The teacher's hope is that students fall into the category of those who prepare properly without making themselves uptight with stress. There is that balance that sometimes takes a few years to master.
Life can be the same way. We face tests of all different kinds. Do we just pretend they aren't real? Or maybe we get so worked up about it that we make ourselves sick. God's hope for us is that when we encounter the tests in life we rely on Him even more. Through these experiences we learn how to handle what life throws our way and can then help others as well. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 tells us, "... the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God."
In the hard times and tests of life, God promises to be with us. And so as our students head into semester exam week I pray they will feel the comfort of a God who loves them, and also recognize how they then have the ability to turn around and comfort those around them.