As brought up before in a former blogpost, Northern Nigeria has seen great success as it endeavors to capture, imprison, and/or deradicalize Boko Haram members1.
As mentioned in Isaiah 62 Prayer Ministry’s “The Story” page, Jesus gave me hope, not only for the Chibok girls, but for their abusers to be brought to Justice, through Isaiah 49: “Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save. I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:25-26).
“Woah,” one might say. “Those verses seem a little… intense. Are you sure these can apply to the current situation in Nigeria?!” While it is VERY important to realize and know that these verses, in context, were about Israel, I do believe that Jesus gave me these verses as a promise.
Matthew Henry gives interesting, and applicable insight on what “oppressors eating their own flesh” can look like. He says, concerning the enemies of Israel, “The proud Babylonians shall become not only an easy, but an acceptable, prey to one another. God will send a dividing spirit among them, and their ruin, which was begun by a foreign invasion, shall be completed by their intestine divisions.” This interpretation actually fits what has happened to Boko Haram: Being split into two factions by two leaders, Abubukar Shekau and Abu Musab al-Barnawi, these factions of Boko Haram are almost pitted against each other, and there is definite tension between the two “groups” of Boko Haram that has actually been helping to win their defeat2.
But, Isaiah 49—and the general Law and Order that God desires for the Earth– is also being manifested through the hard work of the Law Enforcement community. Who else would “take captives from the warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce?” The brave men and women serving as soldiers and law enforcement officials, not only in Nigeria, but all over the world, are called to do something that is both noble and Godly (Romans 13:1; 1 Corinthians 14:33).
Though what I am saying is biblical, I understand that it is something very risky to write in the current political and societal climate I am in (that being the Western United States of America). Police officers near and far have been called to do a selfless, dangerous job; but many have completely, and horrifically, failed to do their job in a God-honoring way, as seen in the many unjust shootings of African American people that have happened in the past, for example.
But there is another profound reason for why this subject of Law Enforcement is very raw and depressing. Since the start of 2018, the flags in Colorado (where I live) have basically stayed at half-staff, largely due to police shootings, and to the mass shooting that horrifically happened last Wednesday. Here, two police officers have been killed; nationwide, the death toll has come to 14 police officers at the time of writing this post. It is sadly safe to say that our law enforcement community is deeply hurting.
With increased racial and political tension, as well as many African-American and Law Enforcement deaths occurring, there seems to be much to fear. It is with this in mind that I want to encourage those on the front line in our societies—and their families & loved ones.
Dear You– Human made in the Image of God—
Thank You for choosing, or quite possibly allowing Jesus to lead you to, this very honorable, yet difficult way of life.
I want to start by saying that I know absolutely nothing of what it takes to be a part of law enforcement, or the like. I have never walked in your shoes; I have never known your pain, your stress, your joys, or your victories—not just because I’m not in Law Enforcement, but also because I am simply not you.
Every day, you wake up, not knowing what the day will bring. Sure, we all say this; but for you, it is a dangerous reality. Each morning (or evening), you get ready for work, kissing your families and loved ones goodbye, as you all pray for a safe day—or night—that will bring you safely home.
You leave your abode, entering a world that you have been called to maintain Law and Order in. You have been called to protect the vulnerable, stop the evildoer, and maintain and protect the rights that all human beings have (especially in the United States). I understand that this is a very tall order to fulfill every. single. day.
But, for reasons I do not know, you do it. Every day, you choose to take on this tall order, hoping that somehow, you will do a good job at it.
Every day, you see and respond to the worst of the worst. Cases where children are treated like rag dolls, where the sanctity of human life has meant nothing to the perpetrator. You deal with the worst of sin and evil on a regular basis. How does this not wear on you?
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28, NIV)
Not only do you deal with sin and evil on the outside; you deal with sin and evil within your own ranks, and even within yourself, as an infallible human being on this Earth. You understand how real the darkness is.
Because others have, horribly, fallen prey to it. In your profession, many fellow law enforcement officials have failed at protecting and serving—sometimes mistakenly, and sometimes out of complete disregard for good. Maybe you are the one that has failed.
Do you walk around, secretly covered in shame because of your mistakes and/or sins, be they “big” or “small?” Deep down, are you scared of failing, because of its consequences and pain?
The Bible says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NLT)
Because of these failures, many people are rightly hurt. They are rightly enraged. They are grieving, and you—the person in Blue—represent the person who took their loved one away.
In such a climate, there is only increased fear, and possibly animosity—only further perpetuating a vicious cycle.
Friend, are you weary, broken, worried, scared, frightened?
Perhaps you are, in a way that many cannot understand.
But this is the Truth: we all are, in some way or another.
We are made in the Image of God—but we are marred. We do not display His Beauty as we ought. And we do not love as He Loves. This is not something to be winked at; this is a travesty. This is the reason for the endless murders, the endless disregard for others and for self, for the darkness that so easily shrouds every portion of humanity.
I know that you know all of this. You’re probably, sadly, much more aware of this than I will ever be.
But there is a solution, friend. There is a way back through the darkness, here.
Dare I say this: There is healing for you, Human. Rest for your soul, relief for your bones. Peace for your mind; confidence for your shaky hands. A place to unload everything you have been holding on to, everything you have been crushed under the weight of. A purpose—your true Purpose—to embrace.
It is at the Cross. Where the God of Law and Order came down, to save the wicked and the saint alike.
And this is where He wants to meet you. Right now, wherever/however you are reading this. Because you matter to Him.
Friend, you matter to me. You are seen—ultimately by Him, but by me, and so many others, too. Thank you for your willingness to serve; thank You for your sacrifice.
I know you can’t save everything. Do you know this? You can’t ensure that the vulnerable will always be protected, and that the evildoer will always be stopped. Things may go wrong—even tragically wrong.
But “I AM” is here. And He is willing and able, wanting and yearning to pick up the pieces of every broken person, every shattered situation, every wounded society. He alone saves.
His Name is Jesus Christ. And Friend, He Loves you. More than you will ever know.
Come to Him, and rest at His feet. Take and receive from Him; everything He offers—being saved, being safe in His Hands, being accepted, being forgiven, being blessed in every way you would ever need—it’s all free. Make Him your King; for He is Good.
The invitation is all yours.
A fellow Human Being
Come to the River, by Housefires:
Do you know Jesus?
Do you feel, like after all you have done, it is too late for Christ to be the One to save you? Or perhaps you doubt that you could ever “fit in” with “those church folk.”
Listen: Whoever you are, however you are, Jesus’ invitation is for you. An invitation, not to behavior modification or to conform to a mindless, church-y group of thoughtless people. No.
You are invited to a personal relationship with God, through the free gift of Jesus Christ. And it is not too late.
Read more about Jesus—and how it is not too late for you, too, to receive Him into your life—here.
Pray with Me, for Law Enforcement Officials all over the world (print out a “Prayer Points” worksheet here):
“Dear Lord Jesus,
We praise You, and we thank You, for raising up people to work towards Justice, Law and Order.
Thank You, for bringing these people through countless tough academies, rigorous training, and everything else needed for them to be those who help and save the people within our world.
We pray now, dear Jesus, that You would protect these officers—and help them to protect and serve the general populous. We pray for Law Enforcement officials, as well as bodyguards, firemen, and EMTs, and we pray that, as they encounter all they encounter, that they would see You in all that they do. Please bring beauty out of the ashes of trauma for these men and women. Show them Your Power, Your Might, and Your Goodness; show them Your Love as they go through so much darkness and stress—and even as they encounter the mundane, everyday parts of life.
Give these men and women Your Wisdom, dear Jesus. Give them Your Knowledge, Courage, and Strength to go through all that they do—and please keep they, their families, and the societies that they serve, safe.
Last, but not least, Lord Jesus, please use these men and women to bring the Chibok girls—and countless other kidnapped people and victims of crime—home, soon.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,