Picture this, its 2 AM you’re awaken by the piercing sharp rapid tone from your pager. You jump out of bed, throw on your bunker gear and jump on the truck. You hear on the radio a confirmed structure fire with possible entrapment. A hundred different things start flying through your head; from where are we going to place the aerial, to do we need to grab the hydrant, to who’s gonna force the door. But this is what you’ve trained for; second due is gonna grab the hydrant, the truck is gonna force the door and do the search, and the engine is gonna attack the fire. You’re ready for this. Now picture this, its 2 AM you’re awaken by the piercing sharp screams of a child, you jump out of bed. You’re drenched with sweat and breathing heavy but now there is only a deafening silence. You look around and you’re at home. It was another memory. The same memory, like always. That memory that keeps you up late at night, that memory that you see every time you close your eyes. That memory you just can’t shake.
If you’ve ever experienced this, I need you to know you are not alone. 1in 3 firefighters have suffered or do suffer from PTSD, myself included. A lot of us don’t know how to handle seeing those images every time we close our eyes, not being able eat because that smell keeps coming back, or just the constant heartbreaking pain. So we turn to things that we think can fix it. We start drinking excessively, looking for meaningless sex, and even turning to drugs just to escape the pain, if only for a little while. But I have to tell you, Brothers and Sisters, this only leads down a terrible and lonely road. But there is hope! Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out”. That way out is his son Jesus Christ.
God gave us his son. He came into this world as one of us. He lived with us, He taught us, and He died for us. God loves you so much that he let His one and only son die for you. Paul shows us this in Romans 5:6-8 “you see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
You are loved and you are not alone, no matter how far down that road you are. Christ himself tells us in Matthew “...I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Christ is with us today. He is with us in our victories and our struggles, our hills and our valleys Christ loves us and comforts us. With Christ we can overcome anything and with Christ we are never alone. Now do you know who you are gonna call on at 2 AM?