We're starting a new year. So what?
We will once again be faced with an overwhelming amount of stressors. Job related, ministry related, family related... this list can go on and on! As First Response Chaplains, how can we live above these earthly, temporary trials and thrive spiritually amid the stress and strain of answering our call to be present in the lives of Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS personnel? Darkness is getting darker. The evil in this world seems to be intensifying at an alarming rate. The whole world is groaning. What can we do to live victoriously? What can we do to minister effectively in this day and age? Time is ticking. We focus our eyes on decade, year, month, day, hour, minute, and seconds.... So much to do and so little time.
In 1977, Christian Artist Phil Keaggy wrote these words about time:
And He won't always be.
But He's on the move at this moment
Measuring life for you and me.
And no one is able to turn him off
Except the Lord who holds the key.
We need to embrace an eternal perspective that changes how we view our circumstances, our lives, and our ministry to others. We need an eternal mindset! We need to put time in its place. We need to stop submitting ourselves to time. Time is irrelevant. We're eternal beings living an eternal life!
God, what in the world are you doing?
God is preparing us for eternity. He is building our character and fine tuning our motives. We all know that the world system is built on instant gratification and living in the present. We must maintain God's perspective and His point of view! We have to grasp the fact that we can enjoy the present reality of eternity right here and right now!
"So we do not lose heart [faint; be weary]. Though our outer self is wasting [rotting] away, our inner self is being renewed [renovated] day by day. For this light momentary [temporary] affliction [distress; pressure] is preparing for us an eternal [perpetual] weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen [perceived, discern] but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
Serving as a First Response Chaplain is difficult. The things we see, feel, and absorb from First Responders can be burdensome, overwhelming, depressing, they can cause us to be angry, to lose hope. How we view these trials is important! It really comes down to a matter of perspective! We must not focus on what we can see - we must begin the discipline of seeing the unseen and placing our hope in what is eternal.
Let's take on 2020 with an eternal mindset. Eternal perspective changes everything. The immediacy and urgency of what we see and deal with as First Response Chaplains screams for our undivided attention! I believe the Lord wants us to rise up, having done all to stand, stand therefore keeping our eyes focused on Him and His eternal promises for us! He wants us to set our hearts and minds on things above.
God is conforming us to His image. Everything we do on earth is preparation for the age to come! We're not going to be sitting around on clouds strumming a harp! We have an eternal destiny.
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek [desire, demand, search for] the things that are above, where Christ is, seated [dwell, reside, enthroned] at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life [present and future] is hidden [concealed] with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory...And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name [character, reputation] of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks [expressing gratitude] to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:1-4, 17)
Set your EYES on the eternal
Set your MIND on the things above!
Set you WILL on doing all things unto Him!
Midwest Chaplain Network