In military terms, a retreat is a maneuver to withdraw from the battle. While it can signal an admission of defeat, it can also be a withdrawal of forces in order to regroup, replenish supplies, restore strength, reinvigorate morale, and revise the way forward.
Whenever a retreat is called for, it is usually in the face of fierce odds. On his podcast, psychologist Dr. Dan Allender describes a retreat as an “…orderly, military process of creating another day to fight…” He goes on to say that he has been told that it is one of the most difficult maneuvers to teach, because fear can so easily take over.
A well executed retreat creates space, even if momentarily, to reevaluate, and It is a skill to be cultivated. We would do well to learn to know when it is time to pull back, draw down, cease from fighting, and put a bit of distance between ourselves and whatever we are up against. On the other side we will emerge better equipped to continue to fight the good fight.