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posted: 8/20/2014 2:10 PM

Times that test us help build character

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By Annettee Budzban

"But he knows the way that I take. When he tested me I will come forth as gold."

All through grade school I was fast learner. I appeared to pass tests easily with a good grade average. So when I enrolled in nursing school, I expected it not to be so difficult for me.

Eager to take one of my first exams and enter into a new level of life, I made sure my number 2 pencils were sharpened and the pink erasers were full and intact. With pencils in hand, I approached the instructor's desk to receive my copy of the test.

Settling in my seat, I said a short prayer and delved into the exam.

It wasn't long before I found myself pondering back and forth over multiple answers to questions. Passing this test wasn't as easy as I thought.

As the clock ticked away, I managed to finish just in time. I handed my test back to the instructor. Anxious to see the results, I stood in front of her as she checked it against the answer key. I quickly grew faint hearted as I watched the red check marks mount up on my paper. It didn't take long to realize I failed the test.

Desiring to become a nurse, I continued on and prayed and studied hard. Eventually, I passed those difficult exams and graduated to be able to help others. I watched my life prosper in many new ways. Now my life has taken another direction, and it brings me to new levels of testing.

Before Jesus could fulfill his purpose in life, God tested him in the desert wilderness against the elements of blazing sun, sand and wind. When temptation came against him to give up or take the easy way out, he didn't budge, but trusted God to bring him through the test.

God is always working to improve our lives. But oftentimes, we must first go through a time of testing our faith, level of generosity, humility or perseverance. Although none of us likes going through these tests, God uses them as a valuable tool to build character in us.

Just as the tests we take in school challenge our level of knowledge, we can learn to become a better person and God can use us in new ways when we learn to pass the tests of life.

• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Join her at her presentation at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Panera Bread in Round Lake Beach. Annettee is available for speaking at your church or event. Contact Annettee at or (847) 543-8413

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