Recently, the men fell-in for duty at the station and the Sergeant (Sgt.) offered up a prayer. I noticed he began with a scripture in the Bible taken from Romans 8:28. He said, “Father, I’m so delighted that You are both sovereign, and that You cause all things to work together for good to those who love You, to those who are called according to Your purpose.”
The Sgt. continued (paraphrasing): “So I thank You for each disturbing or humbling situation in our lives, for each breaking or cleansing process You are allowing, for each problem or hindrance, and for each thing that triggers in us anxiety or anger or pain.”
I then thought to myself, “In spite of what one thinks or feels when one takes his or her eyes off the sovereign and loving God, no matter what profession one chooses not to resist his or her trials as intruders, but to welcome them as friends. Truly, I believe that we need to always thank God that each difficulty is an opportunity to see Him work in our lives knowing that in His time He will bring us out to a place of abundance. So let us rejoice that God plans to enrich and beautify us through each problem, each conflict, each struggle etc…that through them He exposes our weaknesses and needs, our hidden sins, our self-centeredness and especially our self-reliance and pride.”
Hence, I think the Sgt. was thanking God that He uses trials to humble us and to perfect our faith and to produce in us the quality of endurance. I think that the Sgt. was asking God to prepare the soil of his men’s hearts for the fresh new growth in godliness and that his men’s momentary troubles are producing for them an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, and at the same time encourages his men to keep their eyes focused on the sovereign and loving God.
I then joined the prayer and begin to thank God for the people in our lives who seem to bring more pain than joy, because I believe God has let our paths cross for important reasons. I thank God for the good things He wants to do in our lives through things that bother us, the irritating habits, moodiness, unloving ways, demands, insensitivities and unrealistic expectations.
Still praying, I told God that we are grateful that He is with us, to meet our needs when others, even those close to us, fail to do so. And we are glad our sovereign and loving God dwells within us working to make us more like Jesus, more patient, gentler, and more loving through the very things we dislike. Then a constable ended the prayer and said: “And I thank You God in advance for each demanding duty, each pressure, each interruption that may arise in the upcoming hours and days. Amen!”