Hide or Strive, Fight or Flight

Our king—the Lord’s anointed, the very life of our nation— was caught in their snares. We had thought that his shadow would protect us against any nation on earth!

Lamentations 4:20

Recently, I have found myself consistently waking up in the middle of the night.

Last week, I took the advice a friend gave me over a year ago to seek out the Lord in such moments. She always assumed that God had woken her up because He had something important to say. Last week (I am posting this blog a little late), I took her advice and received a revelation.

As I have been making some big decisions lately, I had decided that I was going to take a huge step and eventually move out of the state for school.

As I read Lamentations 3 that morning, it seemed as though I had penned the words myself. The state that the prophet found himself in seemed eerily similar to mine. Then, as I continued reading, I stumbled across Lamentations 4:20. The passage will seem random, but it shouted out volumes to me. I won’t go into depth about why the verse stood out, but I will share with you what it said.

Until recently, the decision to go to Louisiana to tackle more school had been solidified in my mind. With the way that certain things had been going in my life, I simply wanted out. I wanted to leave certain things behind and get a fresh start in a new environment.

I have felt entangled and trapped (which relates to Lamentations 4:20), but as I meditated on the passages from Scripture, the Lord placed this question within my heart that needed to be faced – are you running away from or toward something?

I wanted a kind of exile; I wanted to force this new journey; I wanted to force myself into a new season life. I found myself pitted against a very difficult situation in which several things in my life had not turned out the way I had hoped. In the face of the difficulty, I encountered two classic options: fight or flight.

Now, these two options do not necessarily have any kind of hierarchy between them. Sometimes, the honorable thing to do is fight against hardship, but sometimes it is wise to simply flee from it. There are times where things – a job or a relationship – seemingly will not get better no matter what you do. So, you have to learn to let it go.

If you are facing a grizzly bear alone in the woods, staying to fight means certain death. Sometimes, you have to surrender to survive. Confess that the situation is too much to handle.

The attitude behind the decision to flee, however, cannot be born out of an attitude of cowardice. I would argue that if there is a hint of cowardice in your decision to flee, then it is likely the wrong decision. No one, though, really likes the idea of running away (even if it’s something that you find yourself doing often, it is likely not a thing you are proud of doing).

When trying to discern what you need to do, ask yourself this question in all honesty: with what you’re doing, are the ways that you are expending yourself a means for your running away from or toward something? Are you trying to hide, or are you trying to strive?

Have you chosen the easy route or the narrow road? Sometimes fleeing is not the easy way out. Extricating yourself from a certain circumstance, even if it’s killing you, can be extraordinarily difficult.

Go back to the grizzly bear example. If you were to blindly run away from the bear with no true escape plan, you will simply wear yourself out and eventually be overtaken by what you started out running from. There as to be a plan to your escape – you find a rocky area or a tree you can climb that you know the bear cannot reach you. If your retreat is aimless, your pursuer will simply tear into your backside. In other words, you must be running toward something; you need an escape plan.

For the Christian the flight decision must be something that you place at the feet of Christ. Tell Him that you do not know what else to do and so give it up to Him. If you are to stay and fight whatever haunts you, He will give you the weapons with which to stand against it. If you are meant to flee, He will illuminate the path of escape.

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One thought on “Hide or Strive, Fight or Flight

  1. Great thoughts. I have battled decisions like this so many times in my life. As I reflect I am still not sure that I always chose correctly. When I return from the race I will have to face that decision again… Will I fight or fly? I’m still not sure. But, you have given me some important things to think about! Thanks.

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