Daniel Burnham, the chief architect of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago sought an incredible attraction to be the answer to the feature attraction at the previous world exposition in Paris—the Eiffel Tower. An engineer by the name of George Ferris submitted an idea—but it was so preposterous, Burnham immediately dismissed it. Nearly 4 months later, though, he gave in—mainly because there were no other good contenders!
So Ferris went to work on his invention: a huge wheel that reached heights of 264’! To the wheel he designed 36 gondolas to be attached, each one holding up to 60 people. Nearly 2000 people could ride Ferris’s “Chicago Wheel” at one time for a cost of 50¢ each.
But to get from being a design on paper to a thrilling, safe ride at the Exposition took time—and some very rigorous testing.
Before the first gondola was attached, all the steam engine components were tested. Then the gears were activated to make sure the wheel would even turn a full revolution. A few cars were installed, and it was tested again—could the design sustain the added weight of the gondolas? Then the first couple of humans were allowed on for a test run. All went well. Finally, before being open to paid riders, all the cars were filled with volunteers. With the weight of 200 people on board, how would this monstrous wheel handle it?
Ferris’s wheel was subjected to a battery of harsh tests to prove its safety and reliability.
It passed with flying colors!
I share that story to illustrate an important truth found in 1 Peter 1:6–7 (ESV)
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We’re going through an unprecedented time in our nation’s history—at least, since the Civil War. And I’m sure you feel the pressure—the intense pressure—coming from within from those who hate our country…who hate conservativism… who hate biblical moral values & any form of lawful authority…who instead love violence & insurrection & anarchy.
On a national scale, this is a time of testing. What is the true character of the USA? Of her elected officials? Of the vast majority of her people?
The time of testing will tell.
But it’s also a time of individual testing…and that of the follower of Jesus. So much of what biblical Christianity stands for is under assault—with even a very vocal radical BLM anarchist calling for the destruction of statues of Jesus and churches that might depict him as being “white.”
What is the true character of those who claim to be followers of Christ?
The time of testing will tell.
What can we say of this time?
Peter helps us out. Besides being a time of testing or examination that reveals the true character of a thing…
- It’s a time of “heaviness” — “you have been grieved” Peter says. You’re seeing things going on too close to home that elicit sorrow, sadness, and/or distress. Tearing down monuments, defacing beautiful public buildings, turning downtown areas in certain cities into decrepit experiments in some form of socialism—all these and more grieve the heart of those who love truth and righteousness.
- t’s a time of present experience – “…now.” You can read of atrocities in history that can be chilling & sobering, but they don’t distress you as if YOU were going thru it!
- It’s a time of relative brevity – “now for a little while.” To be sure, it doesn’t seem short when we’re going through it! And with our very limited perspective, we can’t see a good outcome, either. Indeed, what will tomorrow bring?
BUT…allow this divinely inspired word to encourage you! We’re being put to the test now but for a little while! This too shall pass away. In the meantime, what’s coming out? What’s the examination revealing to you…about YOU?