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An Ungrateful Choker
FIRST RESPONDERS answer calls ranging from false alarms to life-threatening emergencies. Some are those rare emergencies in which life and death are split seconds apart and ...

Tommy Neiman, Author of Sirens for the Cross; EMS Training Officer – St. Lucie County, FL; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International Regional Director / International Board Member

AN UNGRATEFUL CHOKER

Oh, that people would praise God

FIRST RESPONDERS answer calls ranging from false alarms to life-threatening emergencies. Some are those rare emergencies in which life and death are split seconds apart and only an immediate action performed on scene saves a life.

I praise God for using me on several of these calls, but I’m humbled by the realization a physical life saved is only temporary. A far more important life saved is a spiritual life. If a nonbelieving person is snatched from death only to live out the remainder of life without accepting Christ, the life saved doesn’t mean much from an eternal perspective. But on these rarest of calls, like the one that follows, my heart cries out as King David’s did: “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness” (Psalm 107:8 KJV).

“Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:8, 9)

The call was for an unresponsive choking victim at a mental health facility. Her face was an eerie ashen blue; her body pale and lifeless. I grabbed the laryngoscope and forceps, inserted the laryngoscope blade and exposed her trachea. Beyond her vocal cords was an object that completely obstructed her air passage. When I removed the mass, the patient made no personal effort to breathe so I continued to try other lifesaving measures. Then, between two ventilations, I noticed a small chest rise. “She’s trying to breathe,” I excitedly said, continuing to assist with her still-inadequate attempts at ventilation.

During transport she began showing good chest rise with increased respiration. Her eyes began flickering. Despite her amazing recovery, she only complained and grumbled, “Why is my throat hurting? Why didn’t you do a better job? I think you loosened one of my teeth!”

I never expected such an ungrateful response. Then a thought crossed my mind. Isn’t this how we, as children of God, sometimes respond to him? God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to save our lives not only temporarily, but forever, and yet, like that ungrateful choker, groaning and whining about minor and temporary inconveniences of the flesh, we cease to praise Christ and all he has done and continues to do for us.

Have you ever been like the ungrateful choker? If so, focus on Christ and praise him! As you do, fewer complaints will come to mind.

Prayer:

Lord, help me remember to praise you for your goodness, to focus on you, and to not allow the little inconveniences of life to distract me from all you do.


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