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So Far, So Good…

Fresh out of the US Army in the mid-1970’s, I applied for my first law enforcement job in southern California. I was surprised to be given an application for the position of “Peace Officer.” That’s not what I wanted to be! I wanted to be a cop! A Police Officer, not a Peace Officer! I remember thinking to myself what a stupid title that was. Of course, once on the job I realized the title of Peace Officer came from the solemn charge to keep the public peace, etc… I’m an Officer of the Peace. OK, I get it… So far, so good…

But as a rookie street cop I quickly learned that my life, both on and off duty, was totally void of any true peace. The chemically-induced anesthesia that came during our 3 AM “choir practices” in the courthouse parking lot didn’t bring it; all that beer we had confiscated on swing shift didn’t bring me anything but a shallow temporary escape; and I couldn’t figure out why my field supervisor kept crying and sticking his gun in his mouth when he got drunk… Oh well; I’m doing OK…

On-duty life was a rat race in which I routinely observed the very worst of what humanity had to offer itself. As a rookie I was assigned a call where an 11-year-old boy shot his 13-year-old friend in the head playing Russian Roulette with a loaded .22 revolver. That call really disturbed me. After the autopsy I decided to get some EMT training to help effectively prepare myself for this type of call in the future. So far, so good…

Then, during the gas rationing of the late 70’s, came a house fire. A family had begun stockpiling gasoline in unsealed containers in their bedroom closet. The explosion critically burned their two 4-year-old twin boys. It was my call and I handled it in a professional manner, but in my heart I couldn’t effectively deal with what I was seeing. I spent the next several hours staying with these boys in the ambulance, the county ER, and the final transport to the burn center in the next county. Those two little boys were literally scared to death and were looking to me for strength. They looked to me?! I was just a cop, not a super-hero! But so far, so good… right?

Then our senior detective tried to do suicide by cop. We didn’t have SWAT teams back then, so the whole shift was mobilized and staked out on the route by which he said he was going to enter the city on foot and start randomly shooting citizens. Fortunately our patrol lieutenant intercepted him at the city line and was able to talk him down. After skillfully clearing the 72-hour hold at the local mental health facility, this senior detective went home and swallowed his gun in front of his wife and children. Emotionally I didn’t know how to handle that one, so I crammed it down inside and kept going full speed ahead. After all, I was a professional, right?

Later on came a very close encounter with a use of deadly force. Some guy had two citizens prone at gunpoint in the dim halo of a street lamp. He pointed and fired at the two officers I was assigned to back-up. They capped him just as I arrived on the scene. His “gun” turned out to be a cap gun. And he turned out to be our CSI Detective’s brother. We had to cancel his response to the crime scene before he arrived… Better him than me… So far, so good…

As time went by, the ugly domestics, child abuse cases, a fiery fatal airplane crash, high speed chases, wrestling matches on the freeway, snipings, suicides, and many personal close calls with eternity made my official title as a Peace Officer so glaringly oxymoronic! There was no “peace” anywhere, least of all in my heart; not on-or-off-duty! So far, not so good anymore.

Then it dawned on me that I had systematically replaced all my old friends with cops. Even my family had grown distant. I couldn’t relate to them anymore and they no longer knew who I was. And frankly I couldn’t have cared less! What did they know? After all, there were only three types of people: cops, friends of cops, and you-know-what’s, right? They would see me coming and say, “Uh-oh! I didn’t do it! Ha ha!” That got real old real fast. Fortunately I wasn’t married yet, or that relationship would have bit the dust too.

With the nation’s highest rates of divorce, suicide, stress-related diseases, and addictive behavior, America’s Peace Officers typically find peace in their hearts to be totally illusive. The media always report that the bad guys are “shot to death by police, but the bad guys always “fatally wound” our fellow officers! They report that Grand Juries “fail to indict” officers, implying the juries didn’t do their duty and hang the guilty cop who is probably on the take anyway! No, the officer just did his job like he was supposed to!

Ninety-five percent of officers involved in a deadly force incident pull the pin within 5 years. Peace Officers take their own lives at a rate three times as often as they are killed in the line of duty. The average tenure of a new officer is 6 years before he quits to go sell shoes or whatever he can do to get away from law enforcement. After pulling his 20 years, the average retired cop lives only another 4 to 6 years. Some retirement, huh?

So where do you find peace? Do you seek it in the illusive things like alcohol, drugs, sex, pride, authority, power, taking high risks, or some other thrill? None of these can satisfy a person’s heart.

The only source of true and lasting Peace is found in a born-again relationship with God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Having your entire sin account reconciled and forgiven by God brings about eternal life and His permanent Peace in your heart which is right there for you no matter what happens in your life! None of our righteous deeds as Peace Officers will accomplish that. Our badge doesn’t clear us with God. Consider these truths:

1. We are all guilty before Him and deserve eternal separation from Him in hell.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” – Romans 3:23

“For the wages of sin is death [both physically and spiritually]; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord..” Romans 6:23

2. True, Lasting Peace comes only from Him.

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2

3. Christ offers His perfect Peace to you right now.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth [which is a fake and fragile happiness], give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”John 14:27

How about it? Would you consider surrendering your life to Christ and asking Him to save and forgive you right now? The Peace He brings will flood into your heart and soul the moment you:

1. Purposefully change your mind and agree with God about your sin and your urgent need of His complete forgiveness. This is called repentance, and it will result in you consciously turning toward Jesus Christ, away from your sin and self.

2. Believe in your heart that Christ died on the cross, paying the full and complete debt for your sins through the shedding of His innocent and sinless blood; also that He bodily rose again on the third day conquering death and sin for you so that you could have His lasting Peace and eternal life with Him in Heaven!

3. Confess with your mouth in prayer that you agree with God and believe in your heart that Christ died and rose again. Surrender fully and make Him your own personal Lord and Saviour!

4. By faith, claim His mercy and forgiveness and receive His Peace! This is how to be born again. Jesus said, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

If you have made a decision to trust Christ, now learn to follow Him in obedience! I would enjoy hearing from you and having the privilege of helping you grow in your new relationship with Christ. All services are free and confidential.