Blog Archive

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stress Test

My heart hurts.

It is not heartburn—not anything I ate, and not because my heart's on fire for the Lord.

It's stress. I can handle the pressures of obligations okay. Physical exertion has never bothered me (at least not until the last few weeks). But there's been just a wee bit too much emotional stress in my life. And so the doctors say:

Chest pain
+ normal EKG
= stress test.

I understand the concept. Put increasing stress on my heart, observe how it reacts, and obtain a diagnosis so that the doctor knows what treatment plan to recommend.

Since I already know that stress is what caused the problem, I'm not entirely thrilled about the idea of going in today to see how much more stress my heart will take and how it will react. But I also understand that being tested is the process by which we learn where we're strong and where we fail so that we can do something about it.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me ...
~ Psalms 139:23-24 (NKJV)

Maybe cardiologists got the idea for stress tests from God. He's the Expert in that field. The difference is that with God, He already sees into the heart and knows exactly where there's a problem. His tests aren't to prove to Himself what's a problem, but to show us where we're weak so that we can cooperate with His treatment plan.

And then sometimes He tests us to show us where we're strong so that we can engage that strength in His service.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
~ James 2:21-22 (NKJV)

God knew Abraham's heart. But did Abraham know his own heart until he raised the knife above Isaac? And didn't his heart of faith become stronger through the faith offering?

Stress tests from God should be expected. Some failures should be no surprise, though they should also result in us growing stronger in faith. And when we, like Abraham, pass with flying colors, we know our Father smiles upon us for proving what He knew we could do all along.

His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
~ Matthew 25:21 (NKJV)

Precious Lord, we are Your unworthy servants. We dare not ask You to test us without fear and trembling, knowing the sin which lurks in our hearts. Please be gentle with us. Please give us the courage to be tested by You and remain standing.

Comments are welcome (including respectful disagreement) and will receive a reply.
You may also contact author via Twitter – @anne4JC
or e-mail – buildingHisbody [plus]
Copyright 2012, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.


  1. Dear sis, you are very much in my prayers. I love you.

    1. Thank you, Denise. I'm grateful for faithful friends and your faithful prayers.

  2. praying for you as well, Anne. your Light is always shining for Him even in the these "trying times" when you're able to turn it around and give Him the glory in it. as much as i've read that Psalm i always missed the "try me" part of it. i remember singing the related song in church too but never actually gave it any serious consideration.... until today.

    1. Bud, doesn't God have a way of answering our prayers that makes us say, "I just wanted the fruit, Lord, not for You to give the garden of my heart a workover" – ?

    2. ...saw something yesterday that goes well with your question Anne. i was taking an unknown street (short cut)to get to another street that would get me up to the top of the mountain. noticed a small fruit orchard on a small plot maybe half or three quarters of an acre. the reason it caught my eye is the entire orchard had been recently ploughed and ploughed really deep. there was a man kneeling on the ground doing something which really got me wondering as to what he might be doing. but what got my attention was how deep those furrows were. and in answer to your question. yes! you said it exactly as it truly is. may the results be ALL to His glory\o/

      i plan to go back and take a photo of that. but right now it's under a pure white snow:)

    3. And Bud, I'm sure that's how God sees the furrows ... as pure as white snow.

      I appreciate that image, Bud. Thanks.

  3. I appreciate your obedience and willingness to take this struggle, and use it to point to the Lord, Anne. You're a blessing.

    I want you to know that I've prayed for you today.

    1. Jennifer, I'm grateful for your prayers. I've asked simply for the Lord to provide an accurate diagnosis, so I know how to cooperate with whatever path of healing He might have in mind. I pray that I use every struggle, every blessing, every vicotry to point to the One Who gives grace in such abundance and is worthy of all praise.

  4. I've had those tests, and they suck! But God always pulls us through, so that's a plus! Praying for you also Anne.

    1. Ed, one answer to prayer is that the intermittent chest pain I experience showed up on the EKG during the stress test. One of my fears was that it wouldn't be there at that time, sort of like the car that makes a funny noise except for the mechanic. Thanks for praying!

  5. May God bless you so "stress" part may go away... and doesn't come back... Be well in spirit, soul and body... wish you all the best...

    1. Thank you, Natasa. It's actually been a week of considerable stress. But God sustains me. (So does a little aspirin.)


Your comments are appreciated and you can expect a reply. If Blogger doesn't accept your comment, or if you prefer
another method, I hope you'll respond via Twitter or email
(see sidebar icons or the "Contact Me" tab, above).

(Comments to older posts and will appear after approval.)