Help Is Closer Than You Think
By Chris Amos
As I sit down to type this article, nine members of the NYPD have committed suicide, seven of which have occurred in the last three months. Just a few weeks ago, NYPD officers were doused with water and one struck by a plastic bucket that had been thrown at him. An ICE office in Florida was the site of protesters threatening agents, contractors and their families. The next day an ICE office in San Antonio was targeted by gunfire. The following day, Philadelphia police officers were praised by some and taunted by others in a crowd while confronting an active shooter who had shot six of their colleagues. All six “miraculously” survived according to Philadelphia’s Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. And we wonder why it is so difficult to find qualified applicants.
Departments across the country are in various stages of addressing the mental toll being taken on police officers and for good reason. A handful of states are addressing PTSD as a recognizable disability, warranting early retirement by those first responders diagnosed with it. Departments, both big and small, are turning to peer counselors and critical incident stress management teams. I am the Director of one such team in a Sheriff’s Office in Virginia. These are all long overdue and much-needed steps being taken across the country. Departments and agencies are recognizing that having your name, address, and the school your children attend shouted out by some knucklehead over a bullhorn can take its toll on an officer mentally and emotionally, it also takes a toll on an officer’s soul!
Friend, can I share with you, some for perhaps the very first time, 3 biblical truths concerning you and the work you do as a law enforcement officer. Truths that if embraced can provide a healing balm for the soul.
1. Your work is important to God. In fact, your work is a calling by God. The Apostle Paul says as much in the book of Romans, chapter 13, verses 1-5.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will [a]bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
Long before you were the Thin Blue Line, you were the God-ordained hedge of protection between peace and total chaos, light and darkness, righteousness and evil.
2. Though true Christians are not as vocal and in your face as so many protestors, cop-haters, and special interest groups please know that you are being lifted up in prayer by men, women, teens and even children you do not know and will never meet, at least on this side of eternity.
“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” 1 Timothy 2:1-2.
3. THERE IS HOPE!
Thirty years ago as a young 24-year-old cop, suffering from a 14-year addiction, I sat at the end of my bed, my city-issued revolver pressed against the side of my head. Having lost the hope, desire, and will to live I assumed, wrongly, that my wife and newborn son would be better off with me out of the picture. I watched my reflection in a mirror as I slowly began to squeeze the trigger. Within a fraction of an inch, literally, from death I heard a voice as audible as that of your partner or spouse say, “There is hope.” I put the gun down. Three months later I found the source, the author and very essence of hope, Jesus Christ. My life was completely transformed!
If you are in a dark place, I shout with every fiber of my body, “There is hope!” Reach out to God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you, if He is truly there. Crack open a Bible and read the Gospel of John. If Jesus is who I say He is He will make Himself known to you. And for your sake and that of your family, friends, and coworkers, please, please, please, put the gun down! Help, my friend, is closer than you think.