Ever felt cornered? What’s the response and reaction to when that feeling surrounds you?
I have recently realized just how long I have lived, and operated this way.
There is a scene in the movie, “The Grey” with Liam Neeson that struck me. The movie in many ways seems to be about man against himself, man against nature, and man against God.
As such, there is a moment in the characters life when he calls on God for help. He vows his allegiance if God intervenes. Yet, as he slumps back down into the frigid arctic snows, he says, “I’ll just do it myself”.
Never would I have thought about asking and putting God in a corner like this scene so vividly shows, but that’s when I realized just how subtlety I have done the exact same thing throughout my life by acting like it was all up to me – my skill, my will, my fight, my wits, my ability, etc.
It seems to happen when I feel “cornered”. A feeling that has its roots in my childhood no doubt. If anyone has ever been bullied, you know this feeling. Bullied by peers, family, coworkers, bosses, etc. It is a feeling that usually results in two responses – absolute submission, or a striking back.
I have done both – I recall one time shrinking back and vowing to never do it again. The humiliation and shame was too much to bare. As such, whenever I felt like I was in a cornering situation, I would fight back and with a fury.
Surprisingly, I discovered that when I did strike back there was a “reward” for doing so – a validation, a win, and the approval of others.
All of a sudden, you are seen as strong, not weak, a fighter, not a coward, and as we know, in this world, fighting back with a vengeance is applauded. It’s applauded not only on the playground, but in the boardroom as well.
As such, the bullied can sometimes become the bully. If not that drastic, it may morph into fits of anger, passive aggressiveness, and/or any other unhealthy reaction to “cornering” events that trigger you to react and respond.
Such has been true for me – I would find fits of anger rise up within me whenever I felt threatened, disrespected, and/or bullied. As a result, I would strike back with words and fists ready to rumble. So immature, such a fearful response, and so unhealthy, and unfitting for a “Christian”.
So, a realization and an awareness to this has whispered a powerful truth to my heart and soul. “God is never cornered,” and never behaves like He is. He is abundant, boundless, and free.
As His children, we are never cornered either, and don’t have to respond like we are. We don’t have to abandon our faith, and “handle things ourself”, fueled by anger, fear, and retaliation.
When we realize and feel these emotions rise up in us, we can see them for what they are and remember, we are not cornered. Our Father is here and now. He isn’t cornered and helps us through every peak and valley of this roller coaster life – and in faith, we can respond to people, and situations that may cause us to feel cornered with wisdom fueled by faith.
Clearly, there are times of battle – but again, not by abandoning all hope and plunging head first like a raging warrior, but rather trusting the battle to God, and going into battles as spiritual warriors. This is much more beneficial to all.
For it causes us to rely less on self and more on God, but also, it helps us realize that with God, we are never cornered. Never alone – there is freedom, wisdom, and hope no matter the outcomes.
Trust God – lean into God – it’s not all up to us to handle alone.
Father – grant me the wisdom to live wisely, lovingly, and faithfully. Without fear, pride, insecurity, and ego. Rather, grant me your love, to engage shrewdly, innocently, lovingly, and wisely in all affairs that may feel threatening and harmful. Help me fight the good fight – to be a Kingdom warrior – not a fearful, raging one.