Firefighters often face situations with terrible circumstances, tragic outcomes, and despite our efforts many are lost.
We often carry the scars of that one call we will never forget buried in our hearts for all of our days. It weighs on us, dims our outlook, and begins to affect our daily lives. Then when hard times come in our own lives we cry out to God in anguish and despair asking the simple yet profound question
Many have turned away from God in their darkest moments but have we considered this:
“When belief in God becomes difficult, the tendency is to turn away from Him; but in heaven’s name to what?” (G.K. Chesterton).
We often find ourselves as firefighters in a paradox, a state of self-contradiction, where if we viewed our lives from an outsider’s point of view we may see things differently.
The paradox is this:
We as emergency responders train to handle any situation, at any time, with a moment’s notice, and stay calm in face of chaos and uncertainty. We have received countless hours of training and education that has prepared our mind and body but have we forgotten to train the very foundation of ourselves?
Have we prepared our hearts?
Consider the life of Jesus just before his crucifixion. He was preparing the hearts of his disciples for what they were going to face.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
In John 16, we see Jesus setting the ultimate example for us as leaders. He is preparing His Disciples for the hard road that is yet to come. He tells them there will be persecuted and ultimately killed.
Yet he gives them hope in the face of what we would view as a hopeless road.
Jesus prepared the hearts by reminding them that He would send an advocate, The Holy Spirit, and that their grief would soon turn to joy. Jesus wanted them to know what they would face, that they are not alone, and in the end they would see Him again.
As firefighters, our vision is clouded by the pain of this world and it often becomes difficult to keep a godly perspective. So when our hearts become troubled, pick up His word and read the encouragement that many received and modeled in the face of death and tragedy. They held the line of Hope and rejoiced in the face of adversity.
Hold the line and know that in the midst of our pain Jesus has promised “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” (John 16:22)
Andy J. Starnes