After the Storm

Nursing shortage is happening all over the healthcare system. That also affects us in correctional setting. When some coworkers call in sick, the ripple effect starts right away and affects just every duty we have to perform or accomplish in every shift. We have little man power to finish gigantic tasks.

This past weekend is one of those days when there was only a few of us. Many inmates wanted to be seen middle of the night, that even a minor symptom, to them, felt like an emergency. The doctors' orders were piled up high on some of the bins. It makes it even harder when the system we are using in the computer goes down.

It's easy to get frustrated. It's easy to get angry. It's easy to commit mistakes with decision making. But if we commit all of our ways to God, nothing will go wrong. Proverbs 16:3 says, " Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." It is the Lord Who gives me strength at nights like those...One of my coworkers told me, "You never seem to stop working. Take a break! Everyone else seems lazy and slow but you just keep on working."

I told her about Colossians 3:23, " Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men." That's what gives me strength - to know that the Lord is watching us 24/7, no matter where we are.

Yes, the night was chaotic and overwhelmed the medical staff with unscheduled sick calls and doctors' orders, with man downs necessitating urgent care, with numerous diabetics, some who needed their morning insulin doses before eating breakfasts...But at the break of dawn, tired as we [nurses] were, slumped on our seats in front of every computer monitors, next to phones that constantly rang before, with achy backs or necks, we get our satisfaction to see that we had survived that storm! The bins were empty and all of the doctors' orders were put in, all the unscheduled sick calls were seen and treated and given appropriate medications, all questions were answered from whoever rang our phones...I was tired and felt beaten! But I knew God was the One Who gave me an extraordinary strength to overcome these trials! "I know that I can do everything through Christ Who gives me the strength."[Philippians 4:13].

After the storm, the sun does come out...

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"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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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 himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT 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].