O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. (Psalm 141:1)
Those who regularly respond to the calls for help can hear the urgency in the voice of the psalmist. When the need is desperate; when the pain is felt; when the fear has mounted, the victim wants help to come with lights and sirens.
Cost is not considered. Embarrassment is forgotten. Hurt demands relief. That’s what medics and other emergency crews offer.
No one enters this line of work to get rich. If some start out that way, they soon learn that they had better change their expectations or quit. Even if a person could make good money by rushing to blood spills or brain splatter, it’s not worth it.
It’s not worth the preparation and training; it’s not worth the stress; and it certainly is not worth the memories that a person must then cope with.
So why would a person want to take a job like that? Even flipping burgers at McDonald’s would seem to be a better career choice.
Those who stay with the work usually do so because they feel called to the work. There is something within them that urges them to respond to someone in need. Whether they realize it, or not, they are often the answer to a prayer.
The Lord of life and death does not usually work a miracle from heaven to stop a blood flow or restart a heart. He sends special people to do that work.
This may lead these people to think that they are miracle workers. They are not. They are only tools that God works through.
But there is great honor in that. It is a privilege to serve the God of grace and glory. And, it is also a comfort.
If we start with the understanding that the power to rescue does not rest in human hands, that life can be lost in spite of our best efforts, that God is the one who makes the final decision—then we can toss aside the urge to beat ourselves up when things don’t go as we hoped.
When Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer, he included the words, thy will be done. If we are not willing to accept his will, then we are trying to play God. Our shoes are not big enough for that.
His will is always best, always perfect. The greatest cry for help came from the human race facing the hopelessness of fighting off the loss of life and everything good for time and eternity. When humans stare into the blackness of forever pain and misery with no hope of rescuing themselves, they find that their only hope lies in the God who first gave them earthly life.
He is the same God who sent his Son to give them eternal life.
When we call out to him for help, he hears and he answers. He hears our prayer asking for his help to help others. He hears our prayer to help us.
He may send others to help us in our time of need. He may just send his angels—or both. But he will hear our call.
And he will come quickly.
We pray: God of grace and glory, all life is in your hands. We thank you for those who rescue others. We thank you for making the training and equipment available. We thank you for those who train and for those who teach others how best to help. But most of all, we thank you for hearing the voice of our soul that cries out to you for help to conquer sin and death. Come quickly to us in our times of need, so that we might help those who call us to come quickly to help them. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain and Liaison to the Military,
Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military