• Today's Daily Devotion
He Helps Carry Our Burdens
WHILE SERVING as an engineer for the Indianapolis Fire Department I was dispatched to an automobile fire. The Lawrence Fire Department was on scene when we arrived at the ...

Daniel A. Clegg, Rural-Metro EMT; Engineer/EMT–Indianapolis Fire Department (Retired); Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Regional Director / International Board Member


We never know what the day has in store

WHILE SERVING as an engineer for the Indianapolis Fire Department I was dispatched to an automobile fire. The Lawrence Fire Department was on scene when we arrived at the service station dividing our departments. They’d extinguished an automobile fire and were attacking the burning pumps. Sizing up the situation, we knew we needed to change our hats from fire to emergency service workers.

Four victims suffered severe burns. A two-year-old was declared dead on arrival. Two women suffered critical burns, one an expectant mother. As we prepared her for transport, she went into labor and the child was stillborn.

We continued packaging our burn victims and sped toward the hospital. The second lady died during transport.

After packaging and sending all victims to their intended destinations, my captain asked, “Dan, are you up to changing hats again from firefighter turned EMT to chaplain? The parents of the expectant mom, grandparents of the small boy, just arrived.”

“I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.” (Numbers 11:17)

I was the only chaplain present. I nodded a tearful yes.

Telling a family about the tragedy their loved ones endured is never easy. Their two-year-old grandson was dead. Their daughter had miscarried, and their son-in-law fled the scene and was nowhere to be found. It wasn’t a hat I wanted to wear, but it was a needed one. I prayed for the right words and strength before approaching the family.

I learned later the son-in-law fled the scene because of an outstanding arrest warrant. He was brought into custody after seeking first aid for minor burns incurred in the accident. The expectant mother succumbed to her injuries two weeks later.

When firefighters arrive at their stations, they never know what the day has in store. We all have our own repertoire of stories. Fortunately, not all end as tragically as this one. Not all calls require us to don several hats, but if we are so required, we can be thankful God says he will not give us more than we can bear, and that he will help us carry the burden.


Thank you for not giving me more than I can bear. Thank you that you are there to help carry the burden just as you helped Moses so long ago.

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