The Priceless Grace of Pressure

Pressure is one of the more resented of God's graces. I'm not wired to appreciate pressure. But I am wired to need it. I find that when the pressure is on, I often wish it were off. But I also find that when the pressure is off, I tend to waste more time. I have a persistent misconception that I am more creative when the pressure is off. But, while that may be true for a few things, as a general rule it has not been my actual experience. Necessity tends to produce resourcefulness. Deadlines tend to induce creativity. Leisure tends to induce indulgence and procrastination.

Not everyone is wired the same way. There are more driven temperaments that have an inner compulsion to get lots of things done no matter if there are deadlines or not. Bless them. But in my observation, those temperaments are rare. Most of us will tend to do less if less is required.

It is, no doubt, an effect of the curse, a manifestation of the pathological selfishness that is part of our fallen natures. But that being the case, the discomfort of pressure to prod us forward is a gift to be desired, not an annoyance to be avoided.

Biblical Pressure

Read the Bible and you'll find that, post-fall, it is one story after another of pressurized saints. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Ruth, Naomi, David, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Jesus’s disciples, the apostles, all dealt with significant pressure. Paul felt a daily pressure of concern for all the churches and that kept him praying without ceasing (2 Corinthians 11:28; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). The press of adversity and affliction called for the exercising of faith, the one thing without which we will never please God (Hebrews 11:6).

[Read the rest of the article at Desiring God.]