“People need Christ, whether they live in a rich neighborhood or in poverty. It’s not a gun, gang or a money problem. Jesus is the hope of our nation.” – Jeff Grandy
“I often wondered what was on the other officers’ minds when we were knocking on a drug house door,” said Jeff Grandy. “The door never kicked in easily like the ones on TV. With armed drug dealers on the other side, we were one bad decision away from not seeing tomorrow.
“In that moment I was keenly aware that no matter how I tried to protect myself, God knew how many days I would spend on this earth. No one could harm me unless God said so. Knowing that God was in control helped me tremendously. I never understood why officers would want to cope with that pressure without knowing Christ.
“My faith has been under pressure many times in my life. I grew up in Southern California with my parents and brother, who my family adopted when I was three. My brother had a rough start in life. His drug-addicted birthmother raised him until he was two and came to live with us. My parents tried to help him, but at 12, he returned to his birthmother. Later in life, I learned that we actually had the same birthmother, but different fathers.
“Regardless of who my biological father was, John Grandy was my dad. He and my mother were both believers and taught me about Christ. In 7th grade, I learned that Christianity wasn’t about being a nice person, it was about Jesus being my Savior who died so that I could be reconciled with God. I needed that trust in Christ more than ever when my father died a year later, after a short battle with cancer.
“His death was a huge test of faith, and I felt like God got it wrong. I needed my dad here with me! That’s when I decided that although the Lord was still my God, I would not call Him Father.
“That twisted loyalty lasted until I was in college in Illinois, working my way through and playing football. God put coaches in my life who modeled what it meant to be a godly man. I saw what it was like to lead a family, lead a team, have fun, and build a career but never compromise life with your wife and kids. I built a tremendous base of Christian friends during that time. These men loved the Lord and wanted a deeper relationship with Him.
“After years of those men pouring into me, I began to see that death, destruction and disease are all the product of living in a broken world. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, I could walk through all those things with hope of eternity in Heaven with Him. No matter how wrong I thought my circumstances were, God would carry me through. I took hope in knowing that there is a happy ending for all of us as believers when the Lord redeems His creation.
A Dark Atmosphere
“Maturing in my faith helped me greatly when my mother passed away six weeks after being diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer. It was difficult to lose her, but also comforting to know that my parents had a saving faith in Christ, who makes all things new.
“After she died, I married my wife, Jen, and continued my career as a Dallas Police Officer. Whether I was working in the Southeast Division or as a burglary detective in North Dallas, I was motivated by serving people who didn’t deserve to be victims. I met good people around the city who needed to live without the fear of getting robbed or their neighborhood becoming overrun by drug dealers.
“Police work can be an incredibly dark atmosphere. It has been life-giving to step away from work and connect with the men in my community group. We read God’s Word and talk about what the Lord is doing in our lives. That has been such an encouragement to my faith.
“Another way God has strengthened my heart is through the Watermark Residency, a 10-month discipleship program for people who are considering full-time ministry. I love learning the Bible, theology and apologetics, but I’m even more engaged by what God is doing in His local church. It’s a challenge to work full-time and do the Residency. But it has helped every aspect of my life – as a husband who wants to be understanding with my wife, as a follower of Christ and as a police officer, where I interact every day with hurting people.
“As a police officer, I rarely have the opportunity to follow up with people, and that’s frustrating to me. Sometimes I meet someone who is at rock bottom, and the best thing I can do for them is send them to jail. Other times I’m a shoulder to cry on for someone who has been hurt. I see those people for an hour and never again.
“In those short interactions, it all comes down to a heart issue. People need Christ, whether they live in a rich neighborhood or in poverty. It’s not a gun, gang or a money problem. Jesus is the hope of our nation. It is my privilege to remind people that God is good and faithful.”
We are accepting applications for the Watermark Residency Program for 2016-2017. The purpose of the Watermark Residency is to provide biblical training with real life ministry experience for gifted leaders who desire to serve in vocational ministry. Applications are due on March 1. We hope you will prayerfully consider if this is God’s next step for you or someone you know. Visit the Residency website page by going to watermark.org/residency.