As law enforcement professionals, we know what it is like to be on duty round the clock. At times, the job demands long hours without going home, and other moments it requires responding to action from our residence as detectives, K9 handlers, SWAT team members, or traffic reconstructionists. Whatever the case, the phone attached to our body can keep us on duty 24 hours per day.

As such, receiving encouragement is a driving force that motivates our work. Have you ever considered that your pastor(s) goes through the same ordeal—being readily available seven days each week?

I have more insight than simply being a cop with a pastoral heart. Three of my seven brothers serve as senior pastor at their respective churches, and have done so cumulatively for nearly a century, so I appreciate their loving devotion and sacrifice for each congregation. In case you’re unaware of it, pastoring is a 24/7 vocation. Between sermon prep, hospital visits, counseling sessions, staff meetings, etc . . . there is no rest for the weary. Regardless of public perception, they are just as susceptible to discouragement as we are.

I thought of them while reading through a portion of the pastoral epistle written from Paul to his protégé Timothy recently.

May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus” (2 Timothy 1:16-18 ESV).

Hopefully you’ll attend church this weekend. If you do, perhaps you can do something to refresh your pastor. Search out those who minister to you. In doing so, may God grant you mercy!

The photograph is Pastor/Peace Officer Jonathan Parker from Cop Church Chattanooga. Stay tuned, they will be featured in a story tomorrow.

Photo courtesy Kits Photography