Be Prepared Like First Responders

Where were you on 9/11/19?

Did you see all the replays and death counts and photos of heroes? I used more than my share of tissues crying over lost lives and shattered dreams.

First responders run toward danger and smoke when everyone else is running out. I know this cuz my kid’s a firefighter in a big city.

He is aware of the danger but executes his job courageously having been thoroughly trained for every conceivable contingency.

Even the photos you see of fallen heroes are part of their training. Eli called me the day his was taken.

He said, “Mom, I had my death picture taken today.”
“What? Your what?!?” I asked, not believing what I’d just heard.
“My death picture. That’s what the guys call it.  We have our picture taken in front of the flag wearing our dress uniform. If we die in the line of duty, that’s the picture they put on my casket and use in the media.”

Prepared for every possible contingency.

We face imminent danger every day, too. Not necessarily from a building or car fire, but against hellfire. We have an enemy who comes to kill, steal and destroy. (John 10:10)

  • Kill our relationships.
  • Steal our joy.
  • Destroy our future.

Training to be a first responder takes determination and dedication to a cause bigger than self. If they get sloppy, people die. They could die. That’s why the drills and the training exercises never stop.

We need to stay on top of our training regime too. Hellfire is real. We need to be prepared because lives depend on us to:

  • Give spiritual CPR to a soul who is withering. 
  • Douse destructive embers of gossip or anger with Living Water.
  • Bring hope to souls lost in the smoke of a firestorm of deceit.

When training lapses.

A gradual descent of spiritual complacency is as dangerous as an out of shape fire fighter. When life gets busy, does your Bible collect dust on the shelf? Does church attendance wane and community shrink? When life gets cozy, do fewer prayers float to heaven with urgency?

Our training exercises (or disciplines) are to:

  1. Read our Bible and stand on the promises of God for our lives.
  2. Pray to hear God’s voice and discover his heart is for us.
  3. Develop relationships with other believers so that when our proverbial house (or our actual house) is on fire, we are not alone to suffocate in the despair, the loss, the grief, or the hardship that is part of life.

How is your training going?

Are you on alert – ready and waiting to jump into action or have you slipped into a quiet complacency of ease, hoping that you won’t be needed or that someone else will answer the call for help?

What are you doing to stay sharp? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear how you’re keeping your faith active and ready to respond to the call. 

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the promise of an abundant life in you.  Guide me in my training to hear from you, to serve you and to help others.  Make me fearless.  Give me hope for a better future.  Let me see the way out of a hard situation.  Be with me.  Amen.

PS If you are in a proverbial house on fire, call for help. Do not languish or wait while the fires of hell close in on you.  Call for help.  Call your pastor or your mom or the police or a counselor or a doctor or a friend.  Do it! 


  1. Kathleen Arndt on September 15, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    Deo gratias….Robyn, a practical real life sharing with your son’s death picture.

    Daily reminders of the invisible hugs given to two of my three sons wearing protective vests as police officers and game warden. Ephesians 6 …

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 16, 2019 at 2:18 pm

      Hey Kathleen,
      Thank you for raising sons who serve!

  2. Brenda Humphrey on September 16, 2019 at 12:55 am

    I really enjoy everything you write about! I can’t pick a favorite. I love how God has given you the gift to write & encourage so many of us.

    Thank you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on September 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm

      You are a love. Thanks for writing. 🙂

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