There was one night that my friends and I were on our way home and we got stopped at an intersection with an unexpected situation. When our light turned green there was a car in the other lane to our right who decided to swerve into the middle of the intersection and begin to do donuts, not one, but at least five. Leaving us literally in the smoke from his tires rubbing the road, which was followed by us watching his car crew of about 30 more cars that followed behind him… still during our green light. Needless to say we found ourselves in an unexpected situation.
For every unexpected situation there is some type of solution that goes through all of our minds. Let’s take our situation for a moment. What were some different solutions going through our minds? Well, we could reverse the car, take your phone out to record, laugh, join them, go to my right, left or straight or panic. Why were so many solutions going through our minds in the midst of the moment? Because we all found ourselves in an unexpected situation. We wanted to solve the problem, get home safe and we wanted a solution.
Let's talk about the Fight or Flight response really quick!
“The fight or flight response refers to a physiological & psychological reaction that occurs in the presence of something that is terrifying, either mentally or physically. The response is triggered by the release of hormones that prepare your body to either stay and deal with a threat or to run away to safety. By priming your body for action, you are better prepared to perform under pressure. In cases where the situation is life-threatening, the fight-or-flight response can actually play a critical role in your survival. By gearing you up to fight or flee, the fight-or-flight response makes it more likely that you will survive the danger.”
There is a story in the bible that I believe will be an example of what some disciples did when they encountered an unexpected situation and went into a fight or flight response.
Luke 8:22-25 TPT
22–23 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s get in a boat and go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set sail. Soon Jesus fell asleep. The wind rose, and the fierce wind became violent waters that threatened to swamp their boat. 24 So the disciples woke Jesus up and said, “Master, Master, we’re sinking! Don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” With great authority Jesus rebuked the howling wind and surging waves, and instantly they stopped and became as smooth as glass.
25 Then Jesus said to them, “Why are you fearful? Have you lost your faith in me?” Shocked and shaken, they said with amazement to one another, “Who is this man who has authority over winds and waves that they obey him?”
An unexpected situation. The disciples found themselves in a situation that they didn't expect, a storm, a raging storm. They quickly went into fight or flight response and were trying to find solutions. Ever feel like them?
As I close tonight I want to change the phrase of “fight or flight” to “fear or faith”! Just as our bodies and minds naturally go into a fight or flight response or spirit being can go into a fear or faith response. Notice what Jesus said when the disciples woke Him up, mind you, from a peaceful sleep!
“Why are you fearful? Have you lost your faith in me?”
What unexpected situation have you been put into lately that you’ve been trying to find solutions to. Could it be a parents divorce, a bad grade, the way school looks virtually, a sport, a bad doctors report… or the giant 2020 curveball named COVID. What solutions have you have been coming up with?
I want go back to some sentences stated earlier about the fight or flight response:
“By priming your body for action, you are better prepared to perform under pressure. In cases where the situation is life-threatening, the fight-or-flight response can actually play a critical role in your survival.”
Lets rephrase it to this:
“By priming your spirit being for action, you are better prepared to perform under pressure. In cases where the situation is life-threatening, a faith response can actually play a critical role in your survival.”
How do we better our spirit being for unexpected situations? The answer is Jesus. Being with Jesus. And being with Jesus strengthens our faith. For what? For survival! For peace of mind. For joy. For hope. So, while many of us have been looking for solutions there is only one and will only forever be one solution, that’s Jesus.
John 14:1,5,6 NLT
“Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going (the unexpected), so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
So, in these unexpected situations that we all may be facing, turn to Him, respond in faith, respond with His Word. He is the way, the truth and the life.
Valley Youth Staff,