Read a Gator Excerpt

Read a Gator Excerpt
Pressure Cooker

Read 1 Kings 18:16-40.

“Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God” (v. 37).

When it came right down to clutch time, Florida’s national champion men’s basketball team of 2006-07 could handle the pressure.

Nowhere was that more evident in the two games leading up to the Elite Eight in the 2007 NCAA tournament. The Gators made it through not because they were selfless, coachable, and talented – which they were – but because they were all those things when the game was on the line.

On Sunday, March 18, 2007, the Gators’ response to pressure was downright amazing. Purdue was playing tough, and with only four minutes left to play, the game looked like a buzzer beater. Instead, Florida won by scoring on every possession and making some stops on the defensive end. “We made some key plays,” Coach Billy Donovan said. Indeed. The Gainesville Sun said the Gators were “still playing because they have come to play at the right times.” “When your back’s against the wall, we know we have to make a play,” Corey Brewer said.

Against Butler the following Friday, the Gators demonstrated that clutch time isn’t always in the last four minutes. Butler led by nine in the first half, but the Gators responded with their usual aplomb. They went on a 17-2 run to complete the half; Butler didn’t make a field goal in the last 8:42. On to the Elite Eight – and the national championship.

You live every day with pressure. As Elijah did so long ago, you lay it on the line with everybody watching even if you’re not playing in the NCAA tournament. Your family depends on you; your co-workers or employees depend on you. You know the pressure of a deadline, of a job evaluation, of asking someone for a date, of driving in rush-hour traffic.

In reality, all this is small potatoes compared to the pressure of deciding where you will spend eternity. You handle the daily pressure, though, because you've already decided for Jesus. Eternity's taken care of; the heat's off.

Pressure is for tires. -- Charles Barkley

The greatest pressure you face in life concerns where you spend eternity, which can be handled by deciding for Jesus.

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