Many nights before I begin my shift at 6PM I recite Psalm 144:1-2 in my mind and say it as a prayer to the One who controls all circumstances I come across.
Blessed be the Lord, my rock…There are countless things that I don’t have control over from the people I meet to the calls I am dispatched too. Yet one thing remains always true- never changing. The Lord is my rock through it all. He does not shift or change and no matter what happens, whether I see it as good or bad, I am standing on the rock solid sovereignty of God.
Who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle…We train for all sorts of circumstances in all kinds of ways. We train on takedowns, firearms skills, tactics, case law, and driving. Through all this training and in all this effort ultimately it is God who is working through me as an avenger of God’s wrath (Romans 13:4). I lean on that big time.
He is my steadfast love…I have good days and bad days. I have days that I perform to the level I’d like and days where I fail miserably and embarrassingly. Law enforcement can be a cutthroat profession filled with critics and backbiters. We tend to eat our own in this job. We are good at it. When I am feeling the brunt of that and my fear of man rises I can remind myself that God’s steadfast love is always there. God does not show me steadfast love. He is my steadfast love. His very presence is love.
…and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge….There are days when I wonder if this job is worth it. Victims who don’t cooperate. Suspects who get off on technicalities. A judicial system that appears unjust. Long nights on weekends and holidays. Yet in it all I remember that this verse tells me the kind of God that is always with me. I am not a fortress, stronghold or deliverer. God is that for me. I may represent the shield to the public yet God is the eternal shield of my soul.
…who subdues people under me. God is fighting for me every night. The people that I see escaping justice will either meet it in this life or the next for no one can escape the justice of God that rolls down like a waterfall. He is using me to subdue bad guys and keep evil at bay. I’m only a Band-Aid.
This job would be pointless if weren’t for the reality of the gospel. Psalm 144 reminds me of whom I am in relation to God and keeps me centered on what is important now.