A few years into my journey with God, I had some confusion in my life which I could not seem to resolve. The only thing I could think of, was to ask God for something unsual. I asked what He thought of me and where I stood with Him. I wanted to understand His deep thoughts and what He saw that I could not see, things which needed change or improvement. I decided to ask Him to put me under a spiritual stress test to show me the condition of my heart and to teach me how to change in the way He wanted. As soon as I prayed that, my lessons began.
Initially He brought up things where I caused a deep hurt to people. He showed me where I could be kinder. He showed me areas where He wanted me engage in and I was backing away because the territory was unfamiliar and seemed too scary for me to venture into. He assured me that unless I allowed things to change in my life, they will stay the same, so I had to keep learning to go where I was unfamiliar. He encouraged me to take care of one thing at a time and deal with it one day at a time in order to grow, remembering He had my back, I had His grace and He controlled time. He showed me at different times what my pride looked like and how I was judging things, right down to the beauty and function of His creation. These were the initial lessons, He showed me where I was not representing His love. Eventually the lessons dissipated and I felt spiritually cleaner as I allowed myself to change.
Shortly afterwards He used me to move some people on from our lives from a strength I didn't know I possessed. He showed me things about what was happening and how it didn't serve Him or us. Peace, serenity, clarity and happiness quickly came in where confusion once reigned.
Since then every year I ask God at least twice a year to put me under a spiritual stress test. I look forward to it. It's become a very close part of knowing who God is for me. It's less alarming and hurtful when things are revealed. I have more of an understanding of what I need to do and why I should do it. Each time I feel cleaner and more at peace with God. When challenges show up in my life I am more at peace to deal with them as my heart has been prepared and conditioned to go to God first and see Him at work in everything.