Friday, February 6, 2015

Fight, Flight, Freeze...or Faith?

I was poking around my blog, looking at old posts, and came across this that was written back in November of 2011.  It struck me how fast time flies by!  I rather like this post, especially in light of all that's been happening around this troubled world and with myself personally.  I hope you will take a moment and read this (or re-read it).  Then ask yourself the question:  am I the zebra?  Or am I placing all of my faith and trust in God to see me through the chase?  I hope you will conclude it's the latter.  Have a wonderful day, everyone, and keep coming back.  I may not be posting as often as I used to, but I haven't given up on this blog, yet!

In Christ,


"Often when we lose all hope and think this is the end, GOD whispers, ‘Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end.’   Have faith, keep faith, and see what God will do for you."
Someone posted the above words on Facebook the other day and it's one of those things that has stuck with me.  So much so that I have found myself using it for unplanned situations that have reared up, both in others' lives and my own.
There is bottomless depth to these words.   A mine full of the gems of wisdom. The problem is that we sometimes refuse to believe them when we find ourselves facing the unexpected.
If our comforts or security are threatened, our first instinct can be one of three things.  We either freeze, take flight, or fight back.  The "fight or flight response" theory was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon, which was later seen as too simplistic because of the expected reaction his test subject, namely zebras, employed when threatened.   Thus, the additional term "freeze" was added to further explain what is common to some other creatures in the animal kingdom.
It has been determined by human behaviorists that men and women react differently to stressful situations.  I'll give them that much, but did it take millions of dollars in grants and centuries of study to figure that out?  They must be slow learners.  Men will most commonly react with aggression and fight back.  Women will flee, turn to others for help, or try to diffuse the situation.  Of course, the secular world of psychology has created additional terms that describe every action or reaction regarding the "psyche" and the response man gives to certain circumstances he finds himself in.  Ya gotta love 'em.  But they have intentionally omitted the most vital "link" (to borrow the evolutionist's term) in their attempt to find out what makes a person tick.  I hate to tell them this, but I'm not a zebra.
The evolutionist has convinced himself that we somehow rose out of the ooze and muck, left a trail of slime as we climbed up the evolutionary ladder, eventually stood up on two feet that developed over billions of years, and were suddenly struck with the realization there were other creatures from the same source, whatever that may be, who wanted to eat us.  As  "homosapiens" found themselves in the defensive position, somewhere and somehow the "primal instinct" to protect themselves took over, causing one of the above reactions.  Thus, the answer to why we respond to certain situations the way we do.
At last!  It all makes perfect sense to me!
I hope you know that I am being waggish (I just discovered that word - it means "facetious," not serious, trying to be humorous or funny).  But you already knew that, didn't you.  So...let's back up a little to that missing "vital term" the secular and unbelieving world refuses to acknowledge in their attempt to define the mysterious human being and how he reacts to the world around him.  Strangely enough, it starts with the first letter of the other three:  Faith.
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.  By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible."  ~ Heb. 11:1-3
There...that's better.
Do you see what the writer of Hebrews is saying?  Everything was made out of nothing and came into being by God breathing out a word.  This makes it understandable why we can believe in Him - that is, have faith that He existed then, now, and forevermore and that all the universe was created by Him- yet not see Him.  Because He has told us so and has given us the requirement needed to understand it - faith.
Do you want more proof?
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."  ~ Gen. 1:1-2
Of course, you first have to believe what He tells us in His Word (the Bible), and that requires faith that only He is able to give you.  If your faith lies in anything but Him, you won't understand it and, sadly, there are those like I mentioned above that believe it's all just a fairy tale.

But back to the zebra...
As I said earlier, I'm not a zebra that, when being chased by a lion, takes off running like a rocket, zigzagging back and forth in an attempt to prevent myself from being eaten.  But it doesn't mean that I haven't acted like one in the past.  Or played possum as a predator stood drooling over me.  I have even reacted aggressively and snarled back on occasion.  These are typical reactions every human experiences.  They are built into us for a reason, but so is faith, whether we choose to recognize and accept it, or not.
Every one of us has faith in something.  It may be in ourselves, in others, in material things we accumulate, or idols made of wood or stone that are blind, dumb, and powerless to save us.  The problem with that kind of faith is that there is no hope or real defense in it.  It is misguided and causes us to place our faith in things that have no ability to bring us anything but trouble, misery, and an eternity of more of the same.
Like the zebra discovered as the lion bore down on him, being devoured by the world can be very unpleasant.  As much as the secularist would like to believe that we evolved from nothing, that zebra didn't have what is innately given to man as the most important reaction to draw from:  faith in an all-powerful God Who is ready and willing to make what appears to him to be an end to the road, but is just a bend with something better lying beyond it.  Call it an escape route, if you will; unseen at the time, yet waiting for us to reach it.
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." ~ James 1:2-3 

For those of us who have been given faith, we recognize that there is always hope around the corner, even when we temporarily feel as though the road has come to a dead end.  Whether it be the loss of a job, illness, family troubles, or any other circumstance life dishes out to us, after we pick ourselves back up, we are bolstered and our faith renewed by remembering these words:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  ~ Jer. 29:11

This isn't the Joel Osteen method of prosperity and planning your "perfect life now" (if he doesn't recant and repent, one day he will spend an eternity knowing how that zebra felt).  It is faith that God's promises to us will never be broken, in spite of what may come.  It is faith knowing that some of the trials or tribulations we come across in our lifetimes are often intended to strengthen that faith in Him.  Even if we can't presently see Him, it is faith believing that He is always with us to help guide, teach, and comfort us when trouble does come.  And it is unshakable, steadfast, secure, and fixed.  One day there will be an end to the road, a final bend, so to speak.  And what lies waiting for us beyond that bend will be glorious, magnificent victory over all we have endured in faith for His sake, and it will be for all eternity.

If you find yourself wanting to employ one of Mr. Cannon's useless responses, stop and think.

Don't fight - the battle is being fought for you.

Don't take flight - your Advocate is standing ready to defend you.

Don't freeze in fear -  the enemy is trembling at our Savior's feet because he knows he has been defeated.

Instead, relax.  God has everything under control, even that prowling lion snapping at your heels.  Plow deep for what's missing; that which lies waiting for you to utilize. "Have faith, keep faith." Fool the secularists and their theories and just watch and wait to see what God has in mind for you.

I am betting the odds that the zebra comes out ahead and the lion goes home hungry.

No comments: