Briefing: In 1969, Frank Sinatra released a song that holds the record for most weeks spent in the UK Top 40. It spent 75 weeks on the list. That song was “My Way”. Many people think the circumstances of their life are due to their own hard work and decisions without ever giving any credit to God.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 30.
On the Street: While working nights, in South Dallas, I came across an occupied stolen car. This was my domain. I loved finding occupied stolen vehicles. My partner and I averaged two a week, but on this particular night he was off on vacation leave and I was working solo. I called dispatch, letting them know what I had and turned on my overhead lights without waiting for backup. The pursuit was short, which usually meant the car thieves were experienced. Skilled car thieves knew that when they were detected, the most advantageous thing for them to do was to ditch the car and run before the cavalry got there. They had a much better chance of escaping on foot in a familiar neighborhood than outrunning the police in a car chase.
They drove to an abandoned building and bailed out. Both suspects ran to the side of the building and disappeared. I gave my location to dispatch and gave chase. I ran around the side of the building and saw the open door. I ran in and quickly realized my ego had painted me in a corner again. Here I was, John Wayne in a Dallas PD uniform, going in to catch the bad guys all by myself. How stupid?
The reality of my self-inflicted disadvantage frightened me. It was two against one and they seemed to have planned this out ahead of time. I found myself praying for the distinct sound of police sirens. In the silence I began to ask God to protect me from evil and to lift me out of the trouble I had run into. It was very similar to how David starts Psalm 30. Verses 2 and 3 read, “Oh LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O LORD, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit.”
Have you ever found yourself in this kind of jam? I would love to say this was the only time in my law enforcement career that I did such a stupid thing. In verse 8, David did the same thing I did when faced with this kind of trouble. David says, “To you, O LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy” It is times like these that reveal your true default. What do you truly put your hope and trust in? David continues in verse 10 when he says, “Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me; O LORD, be my help.”
We can always count on God to hear our prayers and cries for mercy. God is faithful. Just like this and many other Psalms, God shows up at just the right time to save us.
God saves David in verse 11, “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” When God saves you from yourself, what do you do? Once it is all over, the bad guys are caught and everyone is patting you on the back, do you take all the credit or give God the glory due Him? Do you tell everyone, “I did it my way” or do you confess that God saved you from impending doom?
Investigational Resources: Do an online search for stories of God saving people.
Officer Safety Principle: What is your default in hopeless situations? Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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