This necklace – a miniature replica of his badge, was given to me by my father while he held the position of Deputy Police Chief of our local police department. Yes, my father was a police officer and I absolutely loved the fact that he was. Not all heroes wear capes, but my dad (my hero) wore a badge!
I remember as a child sometimes I would ride in his police car – Awesome! Then there were times when my dad would have to come to my school in full uniform – also Awesome! I would watch the other kids look up at him in amazement and then when he would leave they would ask, “That’s your dad?!” My response was always an enthusiastic, “YES!” My dad was pretty awesome!! Everyone knew my father and knew that he was “the PO-lice” (as some would say). Even now that I’m grown people will still ask me, “Didn’t you stay at the corner house with the policeman?” My dad was low-key popular, LOL!
In the latter part of his career, my father was also a Marshal. This was when I was grown and I still beamed with excitement about it. He had this jacket with POLICE printed on the back and when he put it on I knew that he was about to go capture the bad guys. But there is one set of bad guys that he and his team went on the hunt for. They were suspects wanted for a double homicide. Through this, God’s covering would be revealed to me in a whole new light.
I am a little older now, so my memory is not always as accurate, but I believe it was one year in December. My dad had to leave (with his super cool police jacket on) and it was really just business as usual. When he returned, he told us a little bit of the story and I was like, “Okay, cool! Another great police story.” Also during this time I used to love to watch the show “First 48.” It’s a show that films police officers during the first 48 hours of a homicide investigation. So, fast forward to several months or so later and this particular case was on my favorite show! My father delivered to me my very own DVD with an episode featuring his case. I remember talking to my cousin on the phone about it and we were both as excited as two kids on Christmas, LOL!
I could not wait to watch the DVD. I removed myself from all distractions, put the DVD in the player and pressed play. And as I watched this particular episode, something within me changed about how I saw God’s grace, his protection and the faith that my father put in him.
The show was just a normal show as I watched – police interviewing suspects, knocking on doors and processing the crime scene. And then, the police and the marshals were ready to make their attempt to apprehend a suspect. They had strategically placed themselves around the house and with an arrest warrant in hand they kicked in the door. MY DAD entered first! This may not mean much to you, but it meant so much to me.
I had just watched as my father entered into an unknown and unfamiliar place to possibly face some form of unforseen danger in an attempt to apprehend a person who could have been willing to risk it all to evade capture that day. The only words that I had at that moment were, “MY GOD!” What a Mighty God we serve, who covers us, shields us and protects us. The all knowing and all seeing God, who at all times knows where we are and where we are headed and goes before us to prepare the way. The one who protects us when we don’t even know we need protecting.
I mean, I always knew what police officers do and I always knew the dangers that they may face, but until that moment I had never pictured my father facing that same danger like he did that day. Maybe I was somewhat naive – I really don’t know, but in my innocence as a child my father was just a cool guy who wore a cool uniform, rode around in a cool car and came home to his family every night.
But God’s faithfulness to us is not just “cool.” It is very real and very present. The fact that my father faced dangers unaware to me and still returned home, or showed up to basketball games, football games and dance recitals was a direct result of God’s promise to protect us.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”
Both my father and my mother trusted in the faithfulness of the Lord. My mother covered (more like submerged) my father in pray every day – literally on her knees every single day. My father’s trust in God went much further than the trust that he placed in those who he worked with everyday. Sure, they were well trained on how to approach a suspect, how to assess a potentially dangerous situation, how to shoot, and how to protect, but also in their humanity, there was always the chance for miscalculation, or the chance for errs in judgement or even a chance to miss the red flags that could put them deeper into harms way.
I watched my father place his life on the line to protect and to serve his community full of family, friends and also strangers. I was proud. I was thankful. I was speechless. I was blessed – blessed to know that God keeps us and his grace covers us.
I don’t know what was going through his head at the time, but when I think about how my my father, who not knowing what to expect, entered into that house with courage and confidence like he knew there was a hedge of protection over him, I want to be just like that. When God sends me I just want to be ready and willing to go with all fear aside and all of my trust in him.
You see, God has called us all to do something. We are not on this earth by accident, but we are here for a purpose. If God hasn’t sent you yet – he WILL. Maybe God has already commissioned you to do something great. Has he spoken to you a plan that he has for you? Have you given him a “yes” or have you given him a “tentative yes – pending full details of the who, what, when, where, and how?” Are you fearful that you may fail or do you fear the unknown? What is it that is holding you back?
Whatever it is, remember this, God’s word tells us that with mustard seed faith we can move mountains… MOUNTAINS!!! That means with just a little bit of faith in God we can go wherever he sends us. And yes, it’s possible that wherever he may send us could be unfamiliar, could be dangerous, it may even be difficult for us, but God will not send us to complete a task that he has not given us the grace to do. Take up your shield of faith and follow where he leads. He covers you. His grace surrounds you. Fear not, for HE is with you.
Take up your shield of faith, for faith is both an offensive and defensive weapon!