Faithful Under Pressure

When God sent us into the world, He never promised it would be easy – just that He’d be with us. – Marine Chaplain, Daniel Robinson

QUANTICO – That may be one of the most important lessons that U.S. Marine Chaplain Daniel Robinson has to teach the trainees during Officer Candidate School at Quantico, Virginia. He knows what the staff sergeants will ask their candidates to do – the impossible.

Officer Gill is a portrait of being faithful as we face obstacles that appear to be too difficult.The Lord is completely ready to help us through each one.
Women in Officer Candidate School training

Chaplain Robinson understands that all candidates enter OCS with a “hoorah” attitude but that, at some point over the next few weeks, they will encounter obstacles and trials they have never had to face before. Those situations are open doors for him to share the Gospel with candidates seeking his counsel.

According to Robinson, when the candidates are up against a wall and facing failure, the chaplain is their go-to person. “A chaplain is a Marine’s one safe harbor for his deepest struggles.” That does not mean that He sits behind a desk waiting for candidates to seek him out. Robinson believes that

A chaplain’s job is relating to his flock. We aren’t technically required to participate in hikes, obstacle courses, and activities but, as a chaplain, I feel it is necessary. When you crawl through the mud with people, they learn to trust you.

But this is not a story of Chaplain Robinson. It is about a Candidate Gill, a woman in the training program who had come for counseling about halfway through the program.

She had sought him out because she did not think that she had what it takes to get through the program. Knowing that she was a believer, he reminded her that, “You know that’s not your decision. It is God’s. He knows the strength He gave you. If He wants you to get through, you will.”

These conversations continued each week throughout the course until the night before the final, grueling, make-it-or-break-it hike when she came and asked for prayer. Robinson said that “she was determined to praise God by taking step after step.”

There came a point in the hike when her rifle swung loose and dealt her a gash on her forehead. Covered with mud and blood, she realized that the accident had rendered her too late to finish in time. She knew she had failed the final test.

Robinson came along beside her and prayed for the Lord to give her the strength she needed to do what He wanted her to do. She regrouped and said,

Lord, ‘You said You’d help me do this, so I’ll get through it.’

She got up and finished the course even though she knew that she had failed to complete it within the allotted time. That was a miracle of faith in itself as she faced what was, at that time, the most difficult struggle in her life. But another miracle followed.

Because of her testimony of faith in Christ and dependence on Him for the strength to finish the hike regardless, the staff sergeants unanimously agreed that she had qualified for graduation. One sergeant told Robinson. “I haven’t seen faith like that in a long time.”

Officer Gill is a portrait of being faithful for each of us as we face obstacles in our own lives that appear to be too difficult to overcome. The Lord is not surprised by our circumstances and troubles. He is completely prepared and ready to help us through each one.


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Sources:

Image Source:

  • Public Domain, OCS Endurance Course [Image 15 of 15], by LCpl Yasmin Perez