Ready. Set. Go.
The first thing that came to my mind was the verse in psalms- Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." (NASB)
An image of a battery commercial came to mind also. You know how good something is by how it responds in extreme temperatures or conditions. If it can hold its own, it's worth its weight in gold.
Then there's all the testing we do do in public schools today -YUCK! YUCK! AND DOUBLE YUCK! Welcome to America's public school system, if it moves, we test it and not just once or twice.
One of the most sobering thoughts of a test though is the test of time. We truly see what and who people are over the long haul. True colors come shining through in all kinds of weather.
I am also reminded of Joseph when he recognized his brothers after all those years. He didn't just throw open his arms right away and tell them how much he missed them and let them feast to their heart's content. He tested them!