Enjoying the Journey
We have had many dear friends though the years who serve in law enforcement. I was reminded again this week that those who protect and serve are special people. They have families. They hurt. They live under stress and strain that few people ever know. They are not perfect, but they deserve our respect and desire our prayers.
We need them and they need us.
My son and I were walking through downtown Dallas. Just days before, a madman had opened fire on a large crowd, targeting Dallas police officers. Five were slain.
Across the street from Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, I approached two Dallas police officers. They were guarding yet another street that was shut down after the tragedy. My words were simple, “Thank you for your service. We are praying for you.”
The sense on the street was something like New York City when we were there days after 9/11. Senseless deaths. Shocked people. Hurting hearts.
I was not prepared for the response of the first officer. He said, “Would you pray for me specifically?” He then gave me his name…twice. He wanted to make sure that I remembered. I will not forget.
We stood there on the street corner and prayed together. As I prayed I heard both officers voice their own prayers to God. It was such a joy to hear two men serving in authority call on the Lord. In the distance a protestor was shouting his message over a loudspeaker. All I could hear was the name of Jesus being spoken softly by the officers.
Both men testified that they knew Christ as their personal Savior. These were more than fellow citizens, they were fellow believers. My son Grant took a picture of me with the two men. It was a moment we will both remember.
I am grateful to God for those who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect our lives. What is the biblical responsibility of Christians to these men and women?
- We are to submit to their authority. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Take a moment to read through the entire 13th chapter of Romans. While you are at it, share it with your kids. Another generation needs to learn such respect for those in authority.
- We are to pray for those in authority. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 teaches, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” Before you criticize, pray.
- We are to speak to those in authority about Christ. The rest of Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 are, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” Those in authority are a part of the “all men.” Christ died for them and they need the gospel. Those who deal with death every day think much about eternity.
You will be amazed how a smile and a word of gratitude will open a door for you to speak to someone in law enforcement about Jesus. Sometimes, like I did, you will find a fellow believer who needs encouragement. And always you will find an officer that needs prayer.
Pray for Dallas. Pray for America. And pray for those who protect and serve.