We all know this. It means “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”. It is an anxiety disorder usually associated with serious traumatic events that produce symptoms like: guilt, reliving the trauma, numbness, sometimes lacking involvement with reality, even worse, the recurring awful thoughts or images.
I sensed something deep in my spirit. PTSD…It was not about those who sacrificed themselves in the military and were traumatized by the effects of being shot at, losing limbs when bombs detonated, and seeing comrades fell on the ground.
It was not about those inmates who were traumatized by rape, witnessing a murder, or abused by either family members or others.
The Social Worker who came to our annual mandatory meeting had also talked about those officers who dealt with this disorder after responding to traumatic or very stressful situations. It paralyzed them. PTSD…But my spirit was not thinking about that…
I closed my eyes hoping to catch more sleep. It was difficult. PTSD was just dancing in my mind, trying to get all of my attention…
It brought me back to this spiritual battle I was in. Those letters revealed I was a victim, too, no different than those who physically and emotionally battle it. The letters brought a new meaning in my half-awake state.
Lifting the pages of my life’s story, I knew I had gone through so many trials from the past. So, this new battle was not something that surprised me. But what stood out was the ways and means that came to help me overcome those trials, no matter how big. It was because I was truly never alone. Someone kept His promise of not leaving me alone and instead, would be there as I go through all those trials. It’s true, even to this day. His Name is Jesus.
Though painful and traumatic some of those events were in our past or even at the current time, we can use these trying times to point those who don’t know Jesus to Him. We can let them know about the One Who has already conquered the world and Who truly gives peace in this tumultuous times.
Jesus prayed to the Father, “I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.” (John 17:15-NLT). We don’t need to escape from the world because Jesus desires for us to witness amongst those who are still lost and are spiritually dead. That is…if our hearts are willing to obey Him. Even through trials, God is using those events to make others know Him through our victories. Through our triumphs. Through our freedom. Through our being conquerors! Because of Jesus. (Amen!)
“18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.”
~ Romans 8:18-25 (NLT)
So, are you ready to “PTSD?” (Point Them away from Spiritual Death)… Are our lives reflecting His light and salty enough to affect those around us? I am a big work in progress but that is my desire...I don't want to blend in in this place. May God continue to work in each of our hearts.
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].