23 years in the making

I won't be there for it but my pastor - a former paramedic and civilian flight medic - will be presenting a sermon tomorrow on 'Pain and Suffering'. There is a lot to the sermon, but one part of it really stuck with me:

Suffering creates compassion so God can work through us. (2Cor 1:3-7 and 2Cor 4:8-10). 

I've often wondered why it took so long to get myself back into the EMS world. I took the class 23 years ago and loved it. Always have. It definitely falls into the 'passion' category for me. But every time I tried to retake the class and get back into that world, God not only closed the door, He slammed the thing in my face. And yet that passion remained. It made no sense to me. I remember praying, "If you don't want me in that world, please rid me for the passion for it".

And yet He didn't, but I couldn't understand why.

Last week, as I was prepping the sermon notes for this Sunday's sermon, I read that sermon note and the accompanying passages (See, B! I *do* read it all!) and it hit me: maybe God was using the past 23 years of suffering in order to create compassion within me so that He can work THROUGH me.

I have not always been a compassionate person. I've paid lip service to it but the reality is that I've not had much compassion for my fellow man. My motto often is, "Sympathy is in the dictionary". Definitely not a compassionate attitude. 

But I've lived a lot in those past 23 years. I've seen a lot. Done a lot. Endured a lot. Helped others endure even more. My life is not horrible - not by any stretch of the imagination and there are billions of people out there who have endured things 1000x worse than anything I've been through. However, I've been through at least enough to help me develop at least a basic compassion for people. I'm not Mother Teresa by any stretch, but I'm light years beyond where I was even 10 years ago. 

My prayer is that it is sufficient.

And what a blessing to think that God waited for me. He waited for ME.

waited for me. That blows my mind. 

- hfs

No comments:


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...