PRACTICING COURAGE IN THE WILDERNESS

Based on Living Compass “Practicing Courage with all your heart, soul, strength and mind”


“Courage is grace under Pressure”
Ernest Hemingway

What is the connection between grace and pressure and how does it define courage?

The powerful story of the resurrection of Lazarus, in John’s gospel (chapter 11:1-44) is a story of grace under pressure. But not the kind of grace that presents a calm exterior. Everyone in this story is upset, even overwrought, including Jesus. Deep grief has taken hold. But grace and courage are everywhere, as well.

Martha goes out to meet Jesus and confront him. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Her boldness is an expression of grace under pressure. Later she says to Jesus: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” This is an unprecedented affirmation of faith in John’s gospel. Grace is present wherever the truth of God is being revealed. To speak our truth takes courage.

Later, Mary also says to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” The pressure is mounting. Jesus is not calm, but he is courageous as he opens himself to God’s grace. His tears are a sign of that openness. Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb. And then he tells the people “Unbind him and let him go. …”

This is God’s grace for each of us, to be set free from our fears, to find the courage to speak our truth, to discover that boldness is a gift.

Have you known a courageous person who was under a lot of pressure and yet showed grace?