The Story of Cliff
When I was a little boy I remember trying to catch my shadow! It was a bright sunny day and I had my back to sun and I was stepping into the darkness of my shadow. I suppose you could say that I was walking in darkness but when I turned around and set my face towards the sun the darkness was behind me and I began to walk in the light. That’s a picture of conversion!
For twenty-seven years I had my back to The SON( Jesus) and I walked in the darkness of unbelief. I was heading in the wrong direction towards the wrong destination. I was walking in the valley of the shadow of death but in the providence of God I came under the sound of the glorious life changing gospel of Christ. I learned that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and i was deeply convicted of sin in my life. I cried out to God for mercy and forgiveness and repented of my sin and asked Christ to save me. By faith, I turned from darkness to light. (That’s conversion.) I set my face to THE SON and began to walk in the light, God transformed my life. I’m now walking in the right direction towards the right destination.
The Bible is a believer’s promise box. One of God’s promises to me is Isaiah 41:13 “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand saying unto thee ‘FEAR NOT I WILL HELP THEE’.
There are 366 ‘FEARS NOTS’ in the Bible. That’s one ‘FEAR NOT’ for each day of the year including a Leap Year! I was converted whilst serving in the Bermuda Police and returned to Leicester Police in 1975. I smiled when they issued to me my warrant and collar number because it was 366. I actually printed Isaiah 41:13 underneath my 366 shoulder epaulettes to remind me of those 366 ‘FEAR NOTS’.
I served a total of thirty-five years as a uniformed officer and needless to say I have had a few ‘challenging moments’. For the last twenty-two years of my service I drove a flash pursuit and instant response patrol car and responded to 999 emergency calls. On one occasion I attended a serious fire at a residential home in Stoneygate. Two residents perished and whilst trying to get another bedridden elderly resident out of the burning building I became trapped inside with the dear old soul. Her name was Lily. Things looked a bit bleak for Lily and yours truly and she realised that we were both in a bit of a pickle. To encourage her as much as myself, I said, “ FEAR NOT Lily, because my Lord Jesus is THE Lily of the valley and the bright and morning star and He will help us.” To cut a long story short, the police heavyweight champion was running round outside shouting for me and when he saw us trapped behind a heavy locked door, he shouted, “ Stand back!” and charged at full pelt towards the heavy door like a battering ram. He demolished it and we were able to escape. God knew that no ordinary man could have smashed through that door – so He sent a giant – the heavyweight boxing champion! Praise His wonderful Name. “ FEAR NOT I WILL HELP THEE”.
I’ll give you one more illustration of God’s protection, then you can go back to sleep! I was on patrol one night when I was dispatched to a shooting incident in Lutterworth. Apparently a married woman was having an affair with a younger man and when he refused to take her away she shot him in the chest with a shotgun. When I arrived he was lying dead on the doorstep and she was in the house with the gun. I am not a brave man but I have a wonderful Saviour who says, “FEAR NOT I WILL HELP THEE”. On entering the house, the woman had the shotgun within easy reach and she had a knife at her side. I was scared but God took control of the situation and she was completely submissive and did not resist arrest.
I still have some great mates on the force but Jesus is my dearest and most loyal Friend. He is a wonderful Saviour on whom we can totally depend. All may fail, but Jesus never, glory to His Name.
I am now retired from the force and still in one piece and I work at Melbourne Home with my wife Sarah. (If somebody tells you that I treat the residents like prisoners, don’t believe them. I treated prisoners much better!).
Let me end this little epistle by paying tribute to God for giving me a lovely wife and five adorable children, (who give me more gray hairs every day!). I truly thank God for them all and I thank Him too for my family in Christ at Melbourne Hall. God bless you one and all.