Wednesday, May 18 2022 - 12:30 AM
answering questions on a test sheet
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Certification Exam

It is indeed a joy to announce that I PASSED my counseling certification exam! I was hesitant to let anyone know I even took the test, given that it was so difficult and I didn’t want to set myself up for embarrassment. But I’m less forgetful than I thought! I passed! Quick, someone buy me a bouquet of roses.

I harbored fears that my 51-year-old brain wouldn’t cling sufficiently to the volume of irrelevant facts I was obliged to memorize. I also wrestled mightily with statistics and research methodology. But then an amazing thing happened; I started to understand what I was reading, at which point I developed an appetite for it. It was kind of scary getting to where things like the following started to make sense. “When the results of the statistical test indicate that the obtained sample statistic is in the rejection region of the sampling distribution, the null hypothesis is rejected and the alternative hypothesis is retained.” If I had nine lives, I’d like to spend one tucked away in an academic institution, rejecting null hypotheses and piling letters after my name.

Tests are scary. They strip away our individuality, paring us down to the essence of whatever trait or capability they measure. To the National Certification Exam, I wasn’t Jennifer; I was an examinee with either sufficient or insufficient knowledge. It didn’t care that I had two lovely daughters, was nice to my neighbors, wrote Christian songs, or ran the Family Life Committee at my local church. All that mattered to the computer that graded the exam was the criterion and whether or not I met it.

God’s Certification Exam

I got to thinking about how life is God’s “certification exam.” He measures my fitness for eternity by particular, specific criterion, namely what the Bible terms “works.” Yet how different He is from the National Board of Certified Counselors—a professional tribunal that, although it may be staffed by kind and caring people, hasn’t died for me. In contrast, God “spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all.” That begs the question, “How shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God gave that thing which was most precious of all—His own Son—and that Son is proof of God’s supreme generosity. There’s nothing He won’t give, no sacrifice He won’t make, no effort He won’t put forth to see us through our final assessment.

As I spied the word “PASS” on the NBCC letter, a great shout went up in my otherwise silent, empty house. Someday a great shout will go up from the redeemed of the ages; “This is our God, and we have waited for Him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9.)  Won’t you join the chorus?

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Jennifer Jill Schwirzer writes from Florida.

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About Jennifer Jill Schwirzer

Jennifer Jill Schwirzer

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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