Faith Under Pressure

For the last 6 years my faith has been under tremendous pressure.  I thought I was doing pretty well for those first few years, but the last 2 ½  years I’ve felt such a great tightening of the vice grips that the pressure has been unbearable except for the grace of God.

A person can’t imagine pressure like this unless they are going through it.  They can have no concept of it nor can they empathize much less sympathize with another unless they’ve experienced the same themselves.

I accepted Christ into my life as a 9 year old girl, but I did not begin to grow in my relationship with Christ until I was a senior in high school.  My future was bright.  Nothing but happiness and sunshine shone ahead.  There were a few bumps along the way, but no real shadows that threatened to stay.

I met the man of my dreams when I was 19 years old – quite without looking for him.  Wonder of wonders, he loved me for who I was and all was so well with my world.  We married and soon began our family.

The arrival of 4 beautiful daughters graced and blessed our home and we embraced the challenges of teaching and training them.  We experienced no rebellion from them during their teenage years and there was harmony and smooth sailing in our home.  They weren’t perfect, but they were obedient and what parent could ask for more from their children.

One by one each daughter was found by their future husband and we watched as they joined them to begin homes of their own.  Grandchildren began to arrive and my husband and I understood and loved the joy of being a grandparent.

All the while we were growing spiritually, but it wasn’t until my husband received a terminal diagnosis at age 54 that life as we knew it stopped and began to revolve around that.  Suddenly our faith was under pressure and we were being crushed from ever side.

For the first time I was able to see just how strong in faith Bob was and I was amazed.  Not once did he ever complain or verbally ask God “Why?!”  He seemed to take everything in stride and accept it.  I did my best to follow his example and chose not to even allow myself to entertain the possibility that he could leave this earth without me.  That was totally and completely unacceptable to me and surely it was to God as well.  After all, He gave me this man to be my husband and to care for me.  We were enjoying the years of empty nesting and growing old was something that we were going to do together.

Bob did so well for awhile.  In fact, he felt the best that he’d ever felt in his life and I was sure that the dark shadow that had fallen across our path was fading.  But the day came when suddenly he began to feel badly and then he went downhill very quickly.  Pressure such as we had never experienced descended on us and we withstood it – together.

On November 10, 2009 the release of Bob’s pressure of faith produced a brilliant diamond as he saw his Savior’s face for the first time and rejoiced as he heard, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”  But my pressure of faith continues.

Each morning I have to tell myself “Just focus on today, Candy, and remember Bob’s example”.  Yes, there are other examples of results of pressure of faith in the Bible, but the one that is the most real to me is my husband.  When he was given a bad diagnosis, he didn’t view it as a ticking time bomb.  He looked at it as his opportunity and his platform to share his faith with those around him.  And because of the pressure he was going through, others were more willing to stop and listen to what he had to say, to consider their own mortality, and to question their eternal destination.

I saw his faith grow stronger especially when he began to grow weaker.

Faith under pressure.  I know what it will produce when my life ends.  What will it produce in my life as a widow here and now on this earth?

“I, James, am a slave of God and the Master Jesus, writing to the twelve tribes scattered to Kingdom Come: Hello! Faith Under Pressure……You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors…..Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”  James 1:1,3-4   The Message

2 responses

  1. Candy, You are a shining example of God’s Love and Faithfulness in action! Thank you for continuing to share your story. The way you continue to move forward each day is an encouragement to your readers! Your Bob sounds much like my Buck. He was my hero and made me so proud as he demonstrated his faith so well during those darkest days and remained sweet in spite of all he went through! We were both so very blessed to have such godly husbands. Now we must follow their examples and fight the good fight until our purpose is fulfilled and we too are called home. We have lots of living to do in the meantime!
    Hugs, Renee’


  2. I love how you depicted Bob’s transformation into Jesus’ presence. There lies Bob’s reward. Thank-you for sharing your story. Beautifully done.


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