AUDIO VERSION: YouTube Podbean
I should have tried harder. It’s all my fault. I could have saved her.
Guilt is a very powerful and destructive emotion which can get us stalled in our spiritual growth. When we’re surrounded by fear, desperation, and suffering, the potential for guilt skyrockets. Why is this? Because if we are listening to God, we understand that human life is the most precious element of this Creation. When human life is in peril, humans usually respond in one of three ways. They run, they freeze, or they try to help. Those whose natural instinct is to rush in and help often find themselves drawn to professions which revolve around saving lives. Firefighters, paramedics, police officers, nurses, doctors, and soldiers—these people are going to be in high demand when the Holy Spirit begins His end time destruction. Everyone will be expecting these people to do the impossible. Sleep? Eat? Sit down for five seconds? These things become unacceptable behaviors for first responders and emergency relief workers. It isn’t fair, but it’s the way it is, and if you’re a Christian working in one of these fields, realize that God has quite a busy schedule planned for you. People are going to be looking to you for answers that you don’t have and blaming you for problems that you couldn’t fix. How do you protect yourself from the guilt that naturally comes when your efforts to save keep failing and people keep accusing you of falling short? Here is where we need to talk about the lines of responsibility.
Just exactly what does God expect of you when He puts you in the middle of some crisis situation? Does He expect you to save lives? No, that’s His job. Does He expect you to not stop until every patient has been treated? No, because that’s not possible. As an emergency relief worker, you need to go into this period with realistic expectations: you’re going to get pounded. God is going to be mowing people down much faster than you can patch them back together again. Supplies are going to run out. The fatalities will skyrocket. Often the physical devastation of an area will be too dense and vast for you to effectively search through. When your supervisor tells you to give it up, you’re going to have to be able to walk away. When your body tells you that you’d better take a break and eat something, you need to respect your limitations as a human being.
God doesn’t want you to get beat down with a bunch of guilt over the lives that you couldn’t save. Instead, He wants you to go into this period with a firm grip on the fact that He alone controls who dies and how. When you’re too tired to think straight and you grab the wrong medication for a patient, guess what? You’re not perfect. When the mother of the kid who just died in your arms is screaming that it’s all your fault, she’s wrong. It is not your job to save lives. It’s not your job to shield people from the power of God. Your responsibility is limited to asking God to have His total way in your life and then trusting that He will.
God doesn’t need your help to save people. His primary reason for involving you in His work is to strengthen your personal relationship with Him. Practicing submission is a vital part of growing closer to God, and practicing submission is what you’re doing every time you accept the death of a patient and move on instead of telling God that He’s a creep or blaming yourself for not pulling a miracle out of the air.
How well you understand the sovereignty of God is going to be a big factor in determining how well you personally weather the stress that’s coming your way. God isn’t in control of just some things; He’s in control of all things. So if you rush to the scene of some epic fire and God makes sand come out of your firehose instead of water, you need to recognize His hand at work and look to the Holy Spirit for guidance. When God starts blocking logical courses of action—and He’s going to be doing this a lot—the correct response is to stop and pray, not just keep blundering ahead trying to force God to align with your own agenda.
We need to realize that our actions are driven by our beliefs, and that our actions are constantly declaring our beliefs to God. When you tell yourself that if you take a break lives will be needlessly lost, you’re telling God that He can’t possibly work without you. When you tell yourself that it’s your fault that some little girl was hit by a car because you didn’t run fast enough to pull her to safety, you’re telling God that you’re co-reigning with Him over this universe. No, you’re really not. In God’s universe, no one dies early and no one dies late. Everyone dies right on schedule.
God wants total submission from you, and a sincere desire for Him to have His way in your life. He doesn’t want your advice, skills, miracles, or endless stamina. He wants you to realize that this is His universe and that He is running it exactly as He wants it to go. He wants you to serve Him out of a desire to honor and commune with Him, not because you’re trying to assist Him.
Life is God’s property. We’re going to see many lives being lost during the end times, but there will also be countless miraculous rescues, healings, and acts of heroism. The Holy Spirit will be using the threat of death to drive many souls towards Him, only to then restore their lives in some amazing way. This will result in great hope and joy for both the soul and their loved ones, and there you’ll be right in the middle of it.
As someone trained to work in emergency situations, you are going to be called to work on the front lines. The pressure put on you by other humans will be intense, but the reward will be getting to see God’s awesome power at work close up. Whether He’s miraculously destroying or miraculously saving, it’s going to be jaw dropping and reverence inspiring. You want to make the most of such a fabulous opportunity and ask the Holy Spirit today to help you grow much closer to Him through the end times.
It is a great privilege to serve God, but we don’t want to take on more responsibility than He assigns to us. Sure other people will want you to save the world and halt the chaos, but other people are delusional. Mere mortals cannot stop God. Your responsibility is limited to submission and trust. Hold nothing back in your walk with God, and you will end up in an awesome place. We’re not here to save lives or protect property. We’re working towards that “Well done, good and faithful servant.” God has put that prize within the grasp of every soul. All He wants from us is a sincere invitation for Him to have His total way in our lives.
Understanding Why God Calls Us to Serve Him
Overcoming Survivor Guilt