For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Courage to Survive

Job 33:4
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

I jumped and held my breath when the sirens blared and the lights flashed. That was the speaker’s purpose. She wanted me to understand when faced with a threat, I freeze up. She’s right, I took a breath and held it. The blood rushed to my heart and caused my hands, arms, feet and legs to turn into noodles. Debbie Gardner of the Survive Institute spoke at the staff retreat. Her excellent advice on overcoming fear with courage could save my life. If I’m threatened by someone intending to cause harm, I need to breath, inhale and exhale. If I can escape, go. If I can’t, grip my hands in fists to keep the circulation flowing, then step back to create space between me and the attacker. Instead of focusing on fear, focus on the people I love and want to live for to stir the courage to yell “No!” and/or go for the throat. If all they want are valuables, give them the purse. If they want your life, go for the throat, with a water bottle, marker, keys, my hand, whatever works to stun them. Then run, call 911 for the police and an ambulance.  

Debbie’s instruction addressed physical threats and the importance of being prepared mentally in a crisis. But what about spiritual threats and attacks. How do I prepare for those? Job was attacked over and over and he continued to inhale. He knew God authored his life with his breath. When I am attacked by Satan, I need to take in the breath of God. To escape, I want to turn away from the temptation and run the other way. That creates space between me and the problem. If he keeps coming after me, I will shout “No!” and focus on the people I love and don’t want to harm by my actions. Then I go for the throat or as I like to picture in my mind, poke him in the eyes with spike heels. Yes, I actually think this sometimes. It my way of saying, “get thee behind me Satan.”
I praise God for people like Debbie who care enough about other people to instruct, and I praise him for the life he’s breathed into me.

To read more about the survive institute, go to

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