Read: Matthew 2:13–23

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”  Matthew 2:13

We often think that faith is about courageously standing our ground. When challenged, faith should be an unshakable foundation from which we will not be moved. Jesus didn’t flinch when he was tested and tried, and neither should we.

We are told, however, that all creatures, ourselves included, have within us instincts that cause us to fight, as well as instincts toward flight. We seem genetically predisposed to choose between the two—sometimes it is appropriate to stand firm and other times it is best to run away. While it may fly in the face of the image of strength so many of us covet, our faith says that there may be times when fleeing is the most faithful act we can engage in. In the Bible, Abraham, Hagar, David, Elijah, Jesus, Paul, and many other faithful people encountered situations where they had to flee for their lives—and in running away, they were following God’s will for them. Our faith can be about standing up for what we believe in, but it can also be about running for the hills.

When has running away been a faithful thing for you to do?

Lord, sometimes we must run away in order to save our skin. It may strike us as cowardice in the abstract, but when we come face to face with forces that threaten to destroy us, sometimes You prompt us to run for cover. Lord, this is all very confusing. Help me to know when to stand my ground, and when to head for the hills. In Jesusname, I pray. AMEN.