One of my favorite movies growing up was “Grease.” In fact what I enjoyed most was the singing and dancing. When the song, “Beauty School Dropout” came on, with the entire scene staged in white with the character in pink hair, I went crazy…oh how I wanted that hair, but I digress! At any rate, Frenchie felt horrible about a mistake made in beauty school and in her dream scene, was encouraged to dropout and return to high school. To show you how my mind works, in response to what is feeling like a true test of faith in my life, I felt like telling God (and nearly did), just let me be a testimony dropout! I started singing “Beauty School Dropout,” by replacing the words with what is #mycurrentsituation. There is one striking line in the song by which Frankie Avalon, Frenchie’s (and every other teen’s) idol croons, “You’ve got the dream, but not the drive!” Seriously though, how true is that? Indeed it is much easier to consider the ideal as opposed to the work that will be required for attainment. Yet just like Frankie, God is saying, “Baby, Don’t Blow It!”
II Timothy 1:12 speaks about our engagement with testimony. It reads, “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” Just as Frenchie buried her head in her arms, when we are “going through” there is a desire and tendency to cocoon. We want to hide from the world around us, while we are concurrently putting things on pause. However Timothy suggests the alternative. He reminds us that there is no shame for suffering as we place our trust in the one who trusted us with trouble. Perhaps it is therefore critical for us to work on the glory portion of II Corinthians 12:9 where we are commanded, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Might we view our test as an infirmity, shame, sadness, difficulty, without warrant? Absolutely. However, what might be more useful is to consider God’s allowance for such.
For every test that has morphed into a testimony, I’ve never not appreciated the benefit on the other side. Maybe not always in the midst, but I can humbly state that every testimony has been a blessing over my life that would not have shifted and strengthened my faith any other way. I have a sister friend, who has whispered to me over the last few months to “stay the course.” In other words, she is holding me accountable to refrain from being a testimony dropout. It is important for us to consider the testimony that will come as opposed to the test that is in the moment. It is great head space to see ourselves as victors when we are facing and immersed in what feels like defeat. When we truly, “let this mind be in us, which is also in Christ Jesus,” (II Philippians 2:5) we can fight the good fight of faith and transition to a testimony framework as opposed to being immobile in a test mindset.
What will it take for you to not become a testimony dropout? Write it down and let us work like all get out to ensure that we pass this test. There are lives assigned to us, and therefore, we cannot afford to flunk. The enemy’s desire is that we would become so discouraged that we fail to access our power to prevail. He wants us to remain in high school, when God desires us to work on a terminal degree. Let’s not blow it! Let us hold on! Graduation is just a few credits away.