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To my brothers and sisters within the thin-blue-line family,
Several hours ago, I heard the news of the two New York police officers assassinated while they sat in their patrol car.
I must say that my first emotion was anger, as I'm sure it was with many of you as well. I'm angry at the evil that has overtaken this world - the hatred that has penetrated so many hearts.
I have wrestled with my own hatred towards those who have stirred up the divide over the past several months between good and evil, right and wrong, authority and mayhem, and time and again I have had to go back to the feet of Jesus and ask for His forgiveness along with a renewed spirit.
Tonight, as we mourn the loss of two more of our brothers, know that the whole family weeps. Nobody understands but those who live this life. They can't. They won't. Yet, for those of us behind the badge who truly love and appreciate our officers - who see you at your worst and your best; who know your fears and your demons, your hard work and your dedication, I want to say, STAND STRONG. Do not let the enemy win this battle.
When you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, remember that you were created for such a time as this. God will give you the ability to continue on, and the strength to do your job well.
Do not let fear overtake you. Fear does not come from the Lord, but comes from the enemy who wants to destroy you.
Hold tight to integrity and truth. I know right now, emotions are at an all time high. Lashing back out of anger and hurt will only fuel the venom that is plaguing our nation. Let me challenge you to be men and women of honor, as I know you are. Though it may seem as if your efforts are in vain, do not focus on the world and what it is saying about you, but keep your eyes firmly fixed and your ears finely tuned to the Commander of angel armies. His orders, guidance and direction will equip you to carry out the tasks He has commanded.
Romans 13 tells us that “the authorities that exist have been established by God,” and that you are “God’s servant to do good,” but also an “agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.”
Even though this is not the popular theme right now, it is your commission by God. He has chosen you to carry out His tasks here on earth by keeping the peace, protecting the powerless, and bringing order where there is chaos; to help those in need, offer a hand to the weak, and a shoulder to cry on. What an important task you have. Do not lose sight of it. More people appreciate you than you realize.
There will be times when it seems as if you can't go on. God's Word assures you that you can. He created you and sees your life as precious. Do not give up, give in or compromise in any way. The world wants you to fail, but God has given you the tools to succeed.
We are reminded this time of year the very purpose for which we celebrate the season, and tragedies such as what we have experienced today only drive it home. We are a world in need of a Savior. Jesus was born to become that bridge between us and eternal separation from God. My prayer for each of you is that you will recognize this need in your life and surrender to Him and His will. We are never promised a tomorrow, therefore, there is an urgency that you make peace with Him today.
For all the spouses and loved ones of those who hold the line, be strong. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Do not worry about tomorrow, for God is already there and is holding it (and us) in His mighty hands.
When fear wants to paralyze you, causing you to shut down or lash out, give it to God. The only hope that we have in these dark days is in Him.
Trust that no matter what battle you face, what terror may seize you in the night, what darkness may envelop you, you do not walk it alone. Face it head on with head held high. Do not cower...do not quake. We are called to this task...we were the ones God chose to fight this alongside our loved one. There's a scripture that always comes to mind...She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. The reason - because God is always beside her.
Finally, as I close out these thoughts, I want to leave you with a prayer of blessing and strengthening that the Apostle Paul prayed for fellow believers in Ephesus:
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.