Bobby Jack Woods doesn’t have an easy job as sheriff of a Kentucky county plagued by drug abuse.
What gets him through is his faith in God, reports Kentucky Today, a news outlet of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.
A 37-year veteran Kentucky lawman, Woods serves Boyd County at the northeastern edge of the state. Boyd County ranks among the top five in Kentucky in overdose deaths. Statewide, 1,404 people died from overdoses in 2016, a new high. The state has seen rising abuse of heroin and fentanyl, an opioid pain medication. Opioid and heroin addictions are also a growing problem across the nation.
“Being a sheriff in Kentucky is a test of faith, and I mean that sincerely,” he said. “You see so much heartache. There are times when you wonder why God lets people suffer or why God let’s people do some of the things they do.”
But Woods, a member of a Baptist church in Ashland, said he is grateful that he can also lean on his faith in his grueling line of work.
Woods said young people aren’t the only ones getting caught up in drug abuse. A couple in their 70s were recently found dead of overdoses in an Ashland motel.
Early this past summer, Woods’ deputies worked 14 overdoses in one 24-hour period because of heroin brought into the area.
The drug problem, Woods said, has “reached past an epidemic to biblical plague proportions.” It has led to other crimes, such as burglaries, as desperate addicts struggle to get the resources to buy more drugs.
Paul Chitwood, the executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, told Kentucky Today that it’s good for Christians like Woods to be involved.
“We have so many people who are gifted of God to minister amid the pain and brokenness in our state, nation and world,” Chitwood said. “They’re ministering from every angle, including law enforcement and government. It’s reassuring to know Christians like Bobby Jack Woods are standing in the gap.”