Sunday, August 05, 2007

Non-Destructive Testing?

For a period of 18 Months one of my duties as an Aircraft Technician deployed with the Canadian Forces was to carry out "Non-Destructive Testing" (NDT) on a few critical parts of the CH124 Sea King. Now NDT is an important safety enhancer to the operations of Aircraft around the world. Incidentally it's also what is done on bridges to make sure we know they are safe to drive on, unlike this bridge in Minnesota.

The point of NDT is to test the strength or "serviceability" of something without damaging it. One method uses "Liquid Penetrant" that is colored to help an inspector see cracks in metal so small that you can't see them unless the glow in the dark liquid shows you them. Tiny cracks can make seemingly strong parts fail, resulting in terrible accidents.

This is man's wisdom. If we were to bend the metal to see where it breaks, it would be broken and useless to us. Effectively we would have simply caused the item to fail.. not checked to see if it's safe to use.

God's wisdom is a bit different. He already knows us through and through. When He is testing us, it's not so He can find out where our breaking point is. Not at all. He's showing us how strong our Faith is. And the cool thing is, He's not looking to show us the cracks. No, again, not at all. He's looking to show us the incredible strength.

Where man uses "non-destructive" testing, God uses fire. Prov 17:3 and Prov 25:2-5 show this quickly. God's purpose for testing our Faith with the trials of life can be seen in 1 Peter 1:3-12 Showing us how strong our Faith is, empowers us to live life and to glorify Him.

What's more, the "purifying" process of using fire to burn off the "dross" in the lives of Believers actually strengthens our Faith. So, while NDT reveals defects and can not improve the item being tested, God's testing actually shows the strength and strengthens!

This is why Peter tells us we can and ought rejoice during trials in our life!

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