Learn the lesson or repeat the class. If you do not learn the lessons in your life, you will not pass the test. You might get a little further along than you were before, maybe even get more answers right the next time around, but you will ultimately still fail the test if you haven’t learned the lesson well. Learning the lesson requires the ability to understand it within the core of your being, knowing how and why it applies to you and your life situations. Some people may learn the lesson the hard way, while others learn the lesson the easy way. As you read the following learned lesson from my own life, reflect on your own situations and assess your learning process. Are you learning the lessons in your life or do you find yourself failing tests and repeating classes?

It took me 22 years to learn some key lessons that took root and bloomed only after surviving a divorce, two disabling car accidents, and three bouts with disabling respiratory ailments, all clearly illustrating that I used to learn my lessons the hard way. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on whose perception, I was one of those individuals who had to personally experience some things to fully understand them. Some mistakes I’ve had to make on my own instead of learning from what I was told or observed others do; I had to experience the whys of the situation in order to grasp it in a way that would be lasting and transforming.

To all inexperienced learners of hard lessons, be advised that this form of learning has proven to be most painful more often than not. However, there is a comforting, encouraging, and reassuring upside, which is that if you sincerely want to learn the lessons for your life, God will work with you, in and through you, lovingly (yet firmly) and patiently until you learn the lesson and victoriously pass the test.

During a 7-week medical leave from work in 2006, I underwent a spiritual and physical reconstruction, nearly lost out on a prepaid nonrefundable Caribbean vacation, and stressed over educational plans for that year. The 7 week medical leave covered a 9 week period because I had miserably failed the test that was presented after the first four weeks when I had returned to work for two weeks, resulting in me repeating the class for three weeks. Although I knew the right answers the first time around, I overanalyzed my situation, wrestled with my spirit, and made the wrong choices. This experience can be broken down as follows:

Test Topic: Your Body, God’s Temple

Lesson Learned: Do not focus on physical symptoms, the possible interruption of future plans or give negative thoughts a foothold in your mind. Instead, fix your eyes on Jesus only, be Spirit-led and obedient in taking care of your body, whatever the surrounding circumstances.

Scripture References: (Matthew 6:34) “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”. (Proverbs 16:9) “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps”. (James 4:13-15) “Come now, you say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow …. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”

The Lord reiterated some truths that I had previously experienced and held on an intellectual level, but this time He inscribed those truths on the walls of my heart. Am I certain that I will make all the right choices on future test? No, nor am I worried about passing the next one. I am and will continue to be a work in process on this side of heaven, test by test, one day at a time, walking in a state of repentance, striving to be more like Jesus until the good work that has begun in me is complete. Through it all, I’ve learned that some battles belong to God alone; I need not fear, flee or fight, just stand in position, be still, give praise, and see the salvation of the Lord.

So what is your story? What lessons are you learning? Are you learning them the easy way or the hard way? As long as you live, you can be assured that you will experience life challenges. Always know that there is a lesson to be learned in each and every one; it is not what we encounter in life, but how we respond to and handle the situations that come our way. Instead of reacting in fear and uncertainty, look to God and use the experience as an opportunity to grow stronger and wiser through your journey.

(John 16:33) “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Author's Bio: 

Jo Anne Meekins is a spiritual leader and founder of Inspired 4 U Ministries LLC (, providing inspiring poetry, informational articles, and motivational messages to encourage, enlighten, and facilitate hope and transformation in the world at large.

Jo Anne is also the author of two books: ON SOLID GROUND: Inspirational Poetry For All Occasions, a book for all ages that includes poems of encouragement, challenge, relationship, celebration, comfort, testimony, ethnocentric expression; and scripture references for each poem; and For Such A Time As This, a 16-poem collection of scripture poems, poetic bible character narratives and sermon summaries. Both available for purchase at

In addition, Jo Anne is a blogger at; a member of the Boost In Your Bathrobe Prayer Line leadership team (; a founding lifetime member of Women In Ministry International/ Wisdom Women Worldwide Interfaith Center; a member of the National Writers Union; and she formerly worked as a policy & procedure writer for 7 years at Healthfirst health plan before resigning on July 30, 2010 to pursue her passion for ministry on a full time basis.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Mental Health at New York Institute of Technology; a certificate in Basic Journalism & Poetry from Writers Institute; and a certificate in Communication Skills from the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.