• Today's Daily Devotion
We Don’t Have To Die at 57!
AFTER TWENTY-SIX years in policing, it was time to retire. I was nearing 57—the “average age of death” for police officers—and didn’t want to ...

WE DON’T HAVE TO DIE AT 57!

Captain Mark Edwards (Ret.)

Plainfield, NJ, Police Division

AFTER TWENTY-SIX years in policing, it was time to retire. I was nearing 57—the “average age of death” for police officers—and didn’t want to die with my boots on. But instead of doing away with stress, I exchanged “job stress” for “family stress.” Our daughter moved to Colorado and our son lived in Pennsylvania, so we decided to leave New Jersey for Pennsylvania. I think the stress of clearing out our old eleven-room home, buying a smaller one miles away, and moving led to my brain tumor.

After being treated two months for a sinus infection, I blacked out and ran off the road in my van. A trooper took the report, called a tow, and I had my son come get me. On the way home I blacked out again, and the family decided I should go to the ER. After many tests the verdict came: “He has a walnut-size tumor in his brain, with a 95 percent chance of malignancy.”

Immediately a voice within me said, “Don’t worry about the cancer thing; that is not your concern. You will have to walk the path, but you will not be alone. I am not done with you yet.” My family was concerned, but I never went into the “Oh, no! Cancer!” mode. Word spread, and I was prayed for from coast to coast, and border to border. The phone never stopped ringing! When the nurse saw tears while prepping me, she thought I was afraid. But it wasn’t that—I was overwhelmed by the tremendous outpouring of prayer and support!

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After surgery, I received radiation treatments to the brain and chemo for the lung and lymph nodes. They were quite trying, but God had told me I would not be alone. Do you recall the hymn “Trust and Obey”? If I could learn to trust a fellow officer with my life and obey my superior officers, surely I could learn to trust and obey the Lord. That’s not easy when no one is visible, so we have to step out in faith. We do that by being firmly grounded in the Bible, having a consistent prayer life, and through fellowship with other believers. They accuse me of not behaving like a brain surgery cancer patient. I can’t! God’s not through with me yet, and I want to increase the average mortality age for officers by living a few years longer!


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