Grace



I wanted to get upset…As this female inmate gasped for breath in front of me. Complaining of “difficulty breathing and almost like a chest pain”, she described. She wouldn’t stop talking about how she didn’t deserve to be imprisoned. My advices to help her calm down were just going out her other ear.

“Okay…Stop talking! Take a deep breath!”

“My husband…and his mistress…” she paused as she labored to bring in some puffs of air into her lungs.

“Stop! I said! Just try to relax, Ma’am…”

She tried…But I could sense the heaviness of her heart…Of her heart that didn’t want to cease from contemplating how much she never deserved to be behind the bars. Her other worries that only herself knew of what transpired from the past and what perhaps were coming ahead. 

I was only helping the other nurse who initially treated her. The nurse didn’t want to give an inhaler when this inmate thought that it might help her. She had clear lung sounds. But deep inside, there was no inhaler that could ever help with the labored breathing provoked by an anxiety attack.

“Will it be okay if I issue her an inhaler anyway? It might help her calm down…”

“Go ahead…” the other nurse conceded.

Her shaking fingers could barely push down the inhaler to dispense the medication that she thought could loosen her tight lungs. She managed to utter “Thank you nurses” despite the anger that still had a tight grip on her heart and mind. As she managed to get 2 puffs from the inhaler, she gathered the little air she acquired and started voicing out her complaints against her husband again.

“Stop talking!” commanded the 2 deputies nearby. 

She just wouldn’t listen. I wanted to get upset myself knowing that no one could help her. No one… But herself!

Then…I was reminded…of her position. Angry about circumstances that I knew were so unfair. Like what the people from higher positions did to me. Demoted me and didn’t give me a reasonable accommodation for a specific request. The government agency that was supposed to help never investigated and never did what they were supposed to do…To help out those discriminated against in a workplace…I knew it was unfair. And I felt helpless. After exhausting a lot of process. 

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble." (James 4:6, NIV)

“Breathe!!! Relax!”

I remember those inner, familiar Voices that comforted me the whole time.  And in those painful seasons of my life, His Word became my guidance that spoke nothing but truth. That because of His grace, I would be okay. Despite this place being opposed to His values. He taught me to be patient and try to relax because as I learned (and still continue to learn) patience, eternity would be the one that would correct all the wrongs I suffered from. Nothing…Nothing could ever calm a weary soul than His grace. There is no room for despair, worries, anxieties or fears, nor injustices…Because the best always comes last to a tried Christian…That it’s just right to always say… “Thank You Lord!”

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. (Philemon 1:25, NLT)

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Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


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].

Friends