Where did the phrase “Grace under Pressure” first gain notoriety? According to one author, the origins have their roots in Ernest Hemingway. Dorothy Parker, writing a profile piece about Hemingway, asked him “Exactly what do you mean by ‘guts’?” and Hemingway replied, “I mean, grace under pressure.”
Guts, huh? Like bravery? Courage?
After hearing this phrase used by a sports commentator during one of the Olympic events, I’ve really been pondering it. Grace under Pressure. What does that look like?
How does one hold up under both the day-to-day pressures of life, and the bigger challenges we all face from time to time? We see many of the Olympic athletes “holding up” under tremendous pressure to Bring Home the Gold. It’s been a fascinating study in human nature to watch individuals and teams as they face these pressures, each striving to do their very best.
We as Christ followers need to think this subject through carefully. What do we teach the world about Grace under Pressure? The world is watching. What is our reaction to the daily stresssors, and to the larger difficulties we face?
I fail so often. I fail so often to demonstrate grace under pressure. Why is this? Because I often fail to look to my God, the author and giver of grace. I look to my own strength to stand up, to push forward, to “succeed”, whatever that is. And I fail to recognize that in this world, my only hope is that I have been given the gift to be able to go to my God when in need of Grace under Pressure.
In John 1:16 we read: “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” What an amazing verse. The grace we receive is from His fullness–the “all” that God is. He is the I AM. And it is from His fullness that we have all received the amazing gift of grace. But not only grace—grace multiplied. Grace upon grace.
As the Olympics close, I am grateful to have been reminded that it is God that gives Grace under Pressure. I could not live this life, without it.