6-Week Series: Against All Odds

Sermons

Summary: The hunger we have determines what we pursue in life

Hungering for God

CCCAG May 28th, 2017

Scripture- Matthew 5:6

I want to speak to you today about hunger. Hunger doesn’t just involve the stomach rumbling, but can involve other things in life that bring you a sense of fulfillment or happiness.

In the early 90’s, I had taken the Wisconsin EMT basic class. After I graduated, I joined a basic, volunteer service in Kenosha as I couldn’t afford to do it full time as EMT’s barely made minimum wage and I had a family to support. I worked the volunteer squad doing special events and being the backup for other county squads.

Occasionally, we would interact with paramedics when we had a critical patient and needed the advanced help. The paramedics would come in and take over the patient. They were calm, professional, and seemed to know exactly what to do and what was going on with the patient. They had a patch on their arm that looks like this one (show patch), and I dreamed and longed for the day when I might be able earn the right to wear that patch on my arm.

So, in the mid 1990’s I went through a solid year of training known as paramedic school. For that year, Tammie and the kids saw very little of me. If I wasn’t working 50 hrs a week, I was at school. If I wasn’t working or at school, I was doing clinical or ride time. I was often running on very little sleep, and was really dedicated to getting all my time done before class ended. I had this vision at the end of having a license, and the patch with my license number on my shoulder.

I got to the end, graduated and then took my boards which I got a 98% on. A week later, my license came in the mail stating I was now able to practice as a paramedic. It didn’t mean a lot to me at the time until the day my patches came. I remember sitting on the couch and Tammie bringing up the mail and handing me the envelope with 6 of the patches in them.

I remember staring at that patch and seeing my license number on it. I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I actually hugged it to my chest and for me it was the fulfillment of a year of sacrifice and really hard work.

A few months later, I took a job as a full-time paramedic, and over time that feeling of accomplishment faded, and I felt like I needed to do something else, so I became an instructor in CPR and ACLS- that made me an “expert” in prehospital emergency medicine. After that, they made me a preceptor- training new people and paramedic students. I found fulfillment in that for a while.

But that nagging feeling of needing more was still there. So, I became a station manager. Still, that feeling persisted. Then I became ALS manager, the boss of all the paramedics...and still there was something there that was empty in my accomplishment.

It was as if I felt, “Ok you did that, what is next?”

I’ve seen this several times in my life since then- I’ve completed bible school- took me 8 years but I did it, advanced paramedic including critical care and community paramedicine, and have had several accomplishments in my life. Initially there was the rush of accomplishment, then it faded and I was longing for something else again and I looked for something else to do and accomplish to feed that hunger in me for a challenge and a victory.

What I have learned through this self-examination is what the bible speaks to when it says What we hunger for in life speaks to what is really on the inside of us. It points to what we really place our sense of value and what we really trust in.

The first three beatitudes speak of a person becoming completely empty before God- casting aside everything in this life for the sake of knowing Jesus.

The 4th beatitude speaks to what we fill that empty vessel with- or what we actually pursue in life to bring us happiness and satisfaction.

Note what Jesus is saying here- He didn’t give us a list of things that might fill us. He didn’t say to build a resume here on earth to bring us satisfaction. He didn’t encourage us to heap up wealth and possessions, nor did Jesus encourage us to earn degrees and fame in this life.

Jesus breaks down the one thing we need to find happiness, fulfillment, and joy as we come into HIS Kingdom to learn HIS principles-

Matthew 5:6- Mat 5:6 “Blessed (Happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

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