Fight or Flight?

In school, we learned that when faced with danger, the body goes into this physiological response known as “fight or flight.” Some people face the threat down and fight it. Others flee the threat. Only the strong survive.

Personally, I’ve always longed to be a “flight” kinda girl. In fact, from my very first instance of abuse, my main coping mechanism has been to either play dead or run away. And I think that in those abuse instances, those coping mechanisms, at times, were what kept me from falling apart. But in all other aspects of my life, those coping mechanisms are utter failures.

Did anybody else see the second Ice Age movie? Okay, I don’t have kids, but sometimes, I like kid movies. And honestly, I liked the first Ice Age movie better, but that’s not the point. In the second Ice Age movie, there are two possum characters named Crash and Eddie. And just like non-cartoon versions of the possum, when they felt threatened, sometimes, they would just freeze up, drop to the ground, and play dead. And as cute as it is in the movie, in real life, for human people, that does not work. If you don’t believe me, go to work and try it on your boss sometime and see how that goes over. (I don’t actually recommend that for people who would like to keep their current jobs.)

It doesn’t work.

We all get tired. I think that’s quite natural. As tired as I get, I watch some of the folks around me and wonder how they keep on – the single mothers who work a full-time job away from home, then come home and take care of children or the grandparents who raised their children and then due to whatever unforeseen circumstances, in their twilight years, end up raising their grandchildren also or the woman battling breast cancer for the third time and wondering how she can face it all over again. And when you’re lying in the dark of the night, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep for the immense pressure of “how am I going to face tomorrow?” giving up really does seem like the most appealing thing. The only problem is that our friend, Bob Sorge, is right.

“His purpose is that we maintain our persistence and intensity of cry until His work is complete in us. It’s the crying out to God day and night that qualifies God’s elect to enter into His fuller purposes. To quit is to forfeit.” (Sorge, The Fire of Delayed Answers)

If we have to cry, scream, write angry letters to God – whatever it takes to get through the times of trouble – those are the things we must do. The thing we can never do is quit. We can never give up.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13, NIV)

This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Bob Sorge’s book The Fire of Delayed Answers. You don’t have to read the book to chat with us! Feel free to jump in anywhere! But if you did post a response to this week’s chapter, just link that up at the widget below. Then, go visit my friend and co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen, and see what he has to say.

About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. When my dad died I was angry with God, not really for taking my dad but for all the chaos surrounding it. It was during this time that I learned it’s okay to question God. It’s even okay to be upset with Him.
    My son gets upset with me and I still love Him. God can handle our anger and pain. In the midst of that pain, God held me and helped me have peace about something I will probably never understand. I only know that event lead me to drawing closer to God. Pain can be a beautiful catalyst moving us closer to the only true Savior.

  2. I liked how he said it in an earlier chapter–that Solomon’s mistake was in seeing all the hardships and toil and turning his face from God (or something like that) as he wrote in Ecclesiastes. God isn’t afraid of our fears or doubts or even anger. We don’t have to get blasphemous, but it’s okay to process what we’re going through. The key is to keep God in the picture. If we think it doesn’t make sense with God, wait until we walk away. We’ll end up as Solomon declaring, “meaningless, meaningless, all is meaningless.” We’ve tasted and know Him, we’ve seen too much to go back now. Thanks Sarah.

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    TC, my pastor during my college years used to say that God can handle anything we give Him as long as it’s the truth. He can handle our anger, our hurt, our questions. He can handle it all if we will just let Him. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m so glad it drew you closer to Him.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Yes, Jason! Amen! :-)

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