Grace Under Pressure

“Grace under pressure”…”Grace under pressure”… the phrase that every good Southern girl knows, but one that I keep repeating in my mind lately.

Ephesians 4: 7 says, “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

I certainly need my share of grace right now. It could be the time of year, but I doubt it. I think that God brings me to these junctures just in time to learn something either I was too ignorant to get the first time or perhaps I just wasn’t ready to listen.

Sometimes the lessons are due to my inattention and others…just God giving me exactly what I asked for. My current response: stupid, stupid, stupid, when will I ever learn that my prayer shouldn’t be for what I want but for His will to be done? In the heat of the moment when will I remember and believe, truly believe that His plans are always better than mine? Please dear friends, understand that I said it; of course I said it, “Lord, please let Your will be done,” but underneath that quick, small, quiet statement was the thought; no, the intention, but only if Your will is the same as mine. Okay so I admit it and once again, I find myself in a predicament that only He can fix, and yet I guess that’s the point. A predicament too big for me, nothing I can fix, this is a God thing only fixable by Him.

Is it earth shattering, will it destroy my life or the lives of the ones I love? Hardly, but it is important to me and I know that makes it important to God. “Grace under pressure, grace under pressure, grace under pressure”.

James 1: 2-4 reminds me, “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

There it is, I am publicly handing it over to God, now the hard part for me. I have to let it go, let God handle the situation.  Hebrews 4: 16 “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

It belongs to Him now, I will continue to show “grace under pressure”, but because I know that my Lord is blessing me with this experience and will bring me new and exciting blessings.

Yet, “Grace under pressure”, seems so fitting for Mary, mother of Jesus.  I wonder if those were Mary’s words, mumbled under her breath as she and her love traveled from inn to inn with not so much as a second glance to them. “Grace under pressure”, as she lay in a barn full of animals and gave birth to our King. “Grace under pressure”, as they all came. No doubt she would like to do nothing more than sleep, and have a moment, a few moments of privacy with her new family. “Grace under pressure”, as they persecuted, taunted, and then nailed Him to the cross. “Grace under pressure” as she laid Him to rest, for Him only to raise again in three days. Do you think those were her unrecorded words? Words that God Himself whispered to her as the most trying of days passed before her.

Or are these words just for us? “Grace under pressure”, problems that don’t even start to measure up to Mary’s. Problems so small they shouldn’t even be called problems and all the while we show “grace under pressure” because we know “this too shall pass”. Our deep longing, the yearning that there is still more to do, more to learn, more to see is just that, it is our longing to be home. Dear friends, it is nothing more than wanting to be home with Jesus in a place that has no problems, no issues, no concerns, to be able to let our hair down and to be able to breathe a sigh of relief because no more do we exist in a place that we have to show “grace under pressure”.

 

Beth Shumate