A friend of mine told me he was walking in the forest one day, looked down and saw a poisonous snake right next to his foot.
“Did he bite you?” I asked.
“No, he wasn’t quick enough,” my friend answered.
Our natural reaction to problems is to hightail it out of there. If it’s a snake, by all means, beat it. The proper response to some problems, especially those with fangs, is to leave.
But there are times when you had better not run. My parents used to tell me that a snake called a blue racer would chase you if you ran but if you turned and ran towards it, it would flee.
There’s one thing, though, that will chase you to the end of the world if you run—your problems.
I knew a young man who was having some major turbulence in his young marriage. He wanted out because he was miserable. He decided to stay and fight for his home, though. He began to read and get counsel and try his best to make his marriage work.
And he succeeded. It took years and anyone who is married knows it’s an ongoing process, but he’s delighted he didn’t run away.
I know a middle-aged woman who was sick of her problem marriage and decided to run, hoping to find that elusive joy that she had longed for her whole life with someone else. She didn’t find it in running, though. Her life actually got worse.
Divorce statistics for second marriages are significantly poorer than those from first marriages. Third marriages results are even more dismal.
But, this is not only true in marriage. Generally, the best way to handle a problem is to turn around and face it head on. It’s usually harder at first, but in the long run, that’s often our only hope for success. You can’t outrun your problems. When you arrive at the next station you’ll find them sitting on the bench waiting for you.
You can run to the moon and back but they will dog your steps until you pull up your socks and do something about them.
One of my favorite Bible stories happened in a bean patch. The hero is a fellow called Shammah, Agee’s son. He refused to run from his problems, which in this case, was an enemy army.
“The Philistines had mustered for battle at Lehi, where there was a field full of lentils. Israel fled before the Philistines, but Shammah took his stand at the center of the field, successfully defended it, and routed the Philistines. Another great victory for GOD!” (2 Sam. 23:10, 12, The Message)
How about you? Have you put your running shoes on? Sick of that problem? Don’t see any way out?
Why don’t you borrow Shammah’s sword (in other words, grab hold of the promises of God’s Word). Trade in your running shoes for some combat boots. If the enemy brings you down it will be in battle and not in flight. And with God on our side, we can defeat this thing.
No one outruns a problem. It always shows up at the next stop. You either defeat it, solve it, live with it or handle it… something. But, you don’t outrun it.
We learn very little by being happy and content. We learn everything by being engaged with the realities of life, especially when it’s hard, confusing, and difficult. Larae Quy
“Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”
~ Mark Twain