Recently, I completed my training for EMT. During the class students are required to do “ride-alongs,” where we would ride for 40 hours on an ambulance, observing other EMT’s and Paramedics. During my time on the ambulance, I was able to witness a lot, from run of the mill calls, to some very disturbing responses. During one of my times on the ambulance, I witnessed one of the most horrific sights I have ever witnessed. It was literally like something out of a movie that played out right there in front of me. I cannot divulge the details of the incident, but I will say, to the onlooker, it would have appeared those first responders were hurting the patient.
When I was preschool age, I remember going to the health department with my mother to get vaccinated. I don’t have any memory of the vaccination, however I do have a very vivid picture in my head of the pain I was in and wanting my daddy desperately. I remember clutching to him very tightly when my mother brought me out. I would guess, like my children and so many others, that I did not have a fondness for the person that stuck the needled in my thigh.
In both of the instances aforementioned, there are cases detailing events that were unpleasant, but with the most noblest of intentions. The EMT’s and Paramedics had no desire to harm the patient they were working on, neither did the man/woman have any ill will toward me. They each only sought to help in the best way they knew. They simply applied their training and worked to the best of their ability to resolve or remedy the issue.
That being said, pastors/preachers/missionaries do their best to deliver sermons and teach lessons that will help their congregations. They study and do their best to prepare for situations that may arise in the course of their ministry. They educate themselves through study of the bible, attend classes/schools and conferences to better equip them for the trials they can only guess are coming. Nothing can actually prepare them for what lies ahead though. Ministers counsel families, couples and members of their church of all ages to the best of their ability. Some with success, some with failure, but I would say there are none that have done so with the intent to cause any more pain than that has already occurred.
In relation to the first case mentioned, my guess would be that if a mom or dad were to have a view of what the first responders were doing to their child in the the ambulance that night, they would have yelled and fought with them, trying to protect their child. However, that would have only added to the problem that ALREADY was before them. I watched at the Paramedic searched his mind for what steps to take, what avenues were available in order to save this young person’s life. He did not ask for the predicament he was in at that moment, but because of the career he chose and the training he received, he was in a place to help. He did not cause the issue that brought him to where he was, but he was going to do whatever he could to fix it. Sadly, the patient was not in any condition to tell him anything, therefore he must devise a plan on his own and then hope for the best.
Being a minister is much the same. We are not the cause of the issues we’re brought into, nor have we asked to be included, but because of the call upon our lives, we are now in a place that we might be able to help. We call upon our training, study and God to devise a plan of action. In the end, we…hope…for…the…best. Like doctors, when it doesn’t go right, we are blamed. Like the EMT/Paramedic, when the worst happens, we wonder what else we could have done. Like the nurse administering the vaccination, we know there is pain, but we’re only trying to help.
In conclusion, realize that your minister CANNOT fix your marriage, family or personal issue. Realize he was not there when it started, nor is he the cause and now he has been asked to become involved as a last resort. He will do his best, but understand he is not God. According to Mark 6, even Christ could do no mighty work because of their unbelief. If we will not trust God, then our pastor is useless to us in our times of trouble. They are only helps, not problem solvers.