My cousin, Jeff Hubbard is a Toronto firefighter and my son Josh is studying to become one. You better believe that I pay attention to any news of six-alarm fires. Firefighters are the first responders to many 911 calls and they must be prepared for anything. I’m especially glad that they are trained to react automatically, based on what could be happening, in a myriad of circumstances.
A couple weeks ago in Toronto, a massive six-alarm blaze erupted – requiring the help of 125 firefighters to control it. The Toronto Sun reported that the most terrifying moment came when two firefighters who were battling the fire from a neighboring building slipped and disappeared into the flames.
Protocol dictates in these types of situations and upon hearing a “mayday” call, everyone jumps to do what they have been trained to. Not what they think they should do, not what their gut is telling them to do – they jump to do what they have been trained to do.
This is what I want you to catch. It’s training that was relied upon in the 25 to 30 minutes that it took to rescue the two firefighters using hoses; and its by training ourselves, that we learn to rely on what we know about God and the promises found in His Word. Then…we too are lifted out of the pits that we fall into.
I love the passage in Psalm 40:1-3 which says, I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the LORD.
God always has a rescue plan and it’s thought out perfectly from beginning to end. When we send out a “mayday” call He is not surprised and He does not have to figure out the next course of action. We are the ones who need to be trained to wait patiently for Him – knowing that He will hear our cries. I’ve learned that this kind of trusting is not always automatic but it should be. It is all too easy for us to be overwhelmed by life’s temporary circumstances. However, it’s in those moments especially that we must rely on our training.
Just last week, I stumbled around and fell into a pit and I wondered why I felt alone in my battle, why my friends were not noticing that my light wasn’t shining as brightly or that tears were close to the surface. You know why I was thinking those thoughts? I just forgot my training. Temporary amnesia set in and I forgot to rely on what I know to be true about God and His promises. I forgot to be open with the people He has brought into my life to walk alongside me, and I forgot that as Christians we are not to focus on circumstances because we walk by faith and not by sight.
When we grow weary or encounter a dry spell, it is critical that we follow our training and not our feelings. I found this David Wilkerson quote and it really encouraged me to press on. Dry spells always follow mountain top experiences or times when we have been blessed by God. The Lord teaches us things about His nature by the trials we endure here on earth. If you are on dry ground you are on your way to a great miracle. Dry ground is a pathway to the Promised Land. It’s on dry ground that the enemy is defeated and the wheels of pharaohs’ chariots fall off. Dry ground is where Jesus reveals Himself to us. God has promised that out of dry places NEW LIFE will spring up.
Just as brave firefighters rescued their comrades from a burning building in Toronto, you and I need to expect great rescues. He always has a plan and He also wants to use us to rescue those He’s placed on our path – encouraging them to wait patiently for the One who sets our feet back upon the rock every single time that we fall.