When I was in school, tests were given in order to know what was in my head. I was pretty good at memorizing lists of information the night before a biology exam. Making up acronyms to help recall facts was kind of fun and I would pace back and forth across the living room reciting my secret codes until I had them all down. (For instance, Fly Away Right Before Midnight = the vertebrates in the animal kingdom: Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds, Mammals. Oh! And ToMMY was a real fun guy – fungi – get it? Toadstools, Mold, Mushrooms and Yeast. Hey, it worked for me – I remembered that one after 30-some years!)
The next morning I could walk into the classroom and regurgitate the data onto each correct blank; by afternoon, however, most of it was forgotten. The system got me through high school with pretty good grades, but, unfortunately, not much real knowledge.
God’s tests are run a little differently. He’s not as interested in what’s in our heads as much as what’s in our hearts. And the only way to find that out is to spend some time wandering around in a hot, dry desert without food and water. When we are in a position where we can’t make it on our own and our only hope of survival is complete dependence on God, it won’t be long before whatever is in our hearts comes leaking out: either grumbling and defiance or surrender and obedience. It’s true: when you are being squeezed, whatever is inside will come out.
The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and all your soul. Deuteronomy 13:3