Have you noticed when you’re in the middle of some personal aggravation or life crisis, someone always suggests that God is testing you, like somehow knowing that makes the pain less? I’ve heard it a few times, and it always annoys me. I don’t like what it says about God or me.

Testing me? For what? I resent this assumption about God, as well as the assumption that I would even need to be tested. Harumph!

But then, the story of Job is evidence God does test people through trying circumstances. But not for the reasons we think.

My son has been potty-training for pretty much half his life, and at this point, it feels like half of mine. I’ve learned many valuable lessons about how NOT to potty-train, and perhaps the nice church ladies would tell me this has been one of God’s tests for me. A character formation if you will. Well, fine, then I’ve failed. Like, multiple times a day.

But that’s not the point here.

We’ve instituted a series of rewards and consequences for successful (or unsuccessful) use of the potty, and this week, we started a new routine we hope will garner more participation from our young potty pupil.

As much as I hate spending half our day in the bathroom, I really don’t want my son to be 17 years old and setting cell phone reminders to use the toilet because he can’t remember on his own. I want him to get this. For the love! But irritation aside, I want him to be independent. Functional. I want him to move on to learning bigger things.

Sunday morning, I left the church service halfway through to take him to the bathroom. I didn’t have to do it. He is responsible to tell his parents or caregivers that he needs to use the potty. But I wanted him to have a win. So I marched up the endless flight of stairs to the children’s room, picked him up and together we walked down the hall to the bathroom.

He had a success. We were both proud.

The thing is, I set him up. I could’ve let him fail, but I wanted him to succeed. I could’ve said, “Well, it’s too bad that you didn’t make it. Now you’re in trouble.” But I don’t want him to lose; I want him to win.

I can’t do this every time or I’m just protecting him from his consequences. But I want him to gain momentum in the right direction. To feel pride about his forward motion.

God wants us to win too. Tests of character aren’t to weed us out. God is not your Western Civ professor from your freshman year of college. He is not the cranky man administering the driving portion of the driver’s license test. Nor is he the cantankerous librarian from junior high who just wants to catch you talking in the stacks.

He wants you to win. Like this. [Click photo for credit]

God is a Dad. The kind who plays catch. The kind with crinkly, happy eyes. The kind who wants the good version of you to just get better.

And when difficult situations arise, he is setting you up, not to fail you, but so you can win.

God has no interest in doling out tests to prove we all suck and he is awesome. He gets no weird pleasure from that.

He does allow us to encounter obstacles or adverse circumstances, good and bad surprises, annoying family members and crappy drivers in our lives, but it’s not to get us voted off the island. He wants good for us. He wants us to have a win. He gives us these situations and stands beside us to help us do it right.

Like me, he would even leave church early to walk up a long flight of stairs to make sure you don’t poop your pants. Cause he wants you to succeed at life and love even more than you already are.

So you can put down your suspicion and treat the discomfort of adversity as an act of love from a God who likes you. Because it is. And he does.

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2 thoughts on “God Wants You To Win

  1. I must say that being a parent has greatly expanded my knowledge of God. Things that I could never understand in scripture started to make sense. But that’s not to say non-parents could never understand these things.


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