Suffering As A Christian


“Good morning,” I greeted the female inmate worker yesterday morning. I had not seen an inmate worker in a very long time, inside our Clinic.

Long ago, a unit would send one worker to help maintain the cleanliness inside the busy Infirmary. They emptied trash bags, mopped the floors, cleaned the restrooms, or put some paperworks together and other things that didn’t disclose any valuable information to them.

She slightly paused. A middle-aged woman, dressed up in dark blue uniform. Her eyes with dark circles around them, revealing her being up all night. Her left hand holding a big plastic bag as her gloved right hand was picking up trash from all the bins inside the Clinic. She was picking up the trash from a bin near me, when I spoke with her. She was not expecting someone to talk with her. As conversations with staff was usually not allowed, not unless it was necessary.

“Good morning,” I repeated.

“Good morning, Ma’am,” as she managed to put a wry smile on her weary face.

“I haven’t seen anyone come here and clean the Clinic. Thank you for picking up our trash,” I uttered.

The smile grew wider, with a sense of relief and appreciation for being noticed, she replied back, “You’re welcome. I don’t know but they told me to come here today.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I said. “Thanks again anyway and you try to have a good day.”

“No, thank you, Ma’am. Have a good day, too,” she answered as she took her steps to go out the door, leading to the female side of the Clinic.

Yes, she was an inmate. Yet, she worked inside the prison as told. She was up working all night and just did what she was supposed to do. She might not like it at times, but she still followed what was assigned to her, knowing that it would help her, too if she didn’t cause any problems.

It would never be easy to be known as an “inmate”. But at least she tried. To improve herself. To do her task well. To obey. Even if it means that at times, her effort might not be noticed nor be praised. But when her review comes, her actions and attitudes at work, would be brought up and be determined as a cause for her being released early, a nice possibility. How sad it would be, for those who never wanted to obey. For those who didn’t want to follow what must be done.

As a Christian, we may be insulted as being such. Labeled as such as if it is a horrible thing to be. Faced with suffering, the only way to go is to feel privileged of being called by His wonderful Name, instead. We don’t need to seek out to suffer but we must also not try to avoid it. Instead, we must keep on doing what is right whether or not it brings suffering.

It is not shameful to be a Christian, especially to suffer for being one. And when our own review comes, it begins with His children. If we, Christians must be judged, how terrible it would be for those who have never believed! [1 Peter 4:17].

“So, if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.” ~ 1Peter4:19




22 comments:

  1. Amen, and as unto serving the Lord. I hope you had a blessed weekend!
    Wylie

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  2. How nice of you to treat an inmate as just another person...not a criminal. I'm sure she feels alone and like nobody cares for her. You might not ever know how a kind word or smile can lift someones spirit. God bless you for being a light in a dark place.

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  3. AGain an example of Christ here.....loving and seeing people through the eyes of Christ!

    I love you my friend!

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  4. I love the value that you gave that woman just by acknowledging her! It is amazing how just simple everyday things can mean so much to people, even people who are not in a physical prison but exist within a prison of insecurities from their own circumstances of life. It is our calling to bring value to everyone that we come across in our life. Thanks for walking in yours. :)

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  5. Thank you for the reminder to keep on doing what GOD calls....no reservations...just lovingly follow HIM and leave the rest in HIS hands.
    Blessings, love, hugs, and prayers,
    andrea

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  6. Good Morning!!......I'm trying to get caught up on my bloggy friends posts and pray that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

    Thanks for the precious reminder that as Christians we can impart encouragement, hope and love in just one hug, one word, one smile or just one action of thanking someone. We have no idea how those simple actions and words may lift and encourage a broken and wounded heart! That's what Jesus is all about isn't it!! And the amazing thing is that He entrusts us, His children to be His Heart and Hands extended to this broken world! WOW!

    Again, thanks for this wonderful reminder!!

    Oh, I'm having my first give-a-way and hope you'll stop by and enter! Have a blessed day!

    Sweet Blessings!
    Jackie

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  7. It's delightful to read about your interactions with this inmate. None of us is without sin; I appreciate, and am inspried by, your simple acts of loving those God places into your life.

    My heart goes out to all those thoughout the world who are being persecuted for their faith. I pray for these brothers and sisters. I also pray that I never shirk away from any kind of suffering for the gospel; be it in the small ways I've experienced in the past or if something more intense comes in my future.

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  8. Rosel, You are the best. Your caring and compassion are Amazing. God Bless You...

    Hope you have had the best day. Think of me and Maxine with your Cup Of Coffee;) How do you like it straight or flavored? Love you my friend, Audrey

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  9. You are so beautiful Rosel. I am always amazed at your stories and encouraged by the way you love people. The love of Christ shines brightly from you!

    Blessings my friend!

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  10. Your kindness to her must have startled her. How many hearts could be turned around and set on the right track if we could be kind to them? How many inmates have actually gone a long time without that kind of positive attention and affirmation? Good job.

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  11. We need more people like you! Kindness begets kindness!! In this case, you warmed someone's heart.

    ~Smiles,
    Silver

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  12. You really have a special calling on your life dear one! What a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

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  13. You took the time my friend - to reach out to that woman and I am sure that by doing so - she felt that someone cared. I am sure that it is a struggle from day to day for these inmates - many of them may feel genuinely sorry for the evil that they committed that landed them in prison in the first place. They must serve their time and probably feel at times that the world has forgotten them. To treat her like she is worthy of your time and attention - You acknowledged her and valued the service that she provided. I am sure that she felt a glimmer of hope at that moment that she mattered to someone! We don't ever know what may have caused these broken people to ruin their lives by breaking the law. Sometimes pain and abuse is all they have ever known in their lives -and they are continuing the cycle. To reach a hand out in love is what Jesus calls us to do - it may seem like such a small gesture, but may be a ray of hope to a broken person who has never felt acknowledged or loved in their lives. We never know HOW God's love will shine through to people - we just must be faithful to use the opportunities given to us to show His love to everyone we meet.
    Praise GOD dear sister that you are that faithful servant! I am sure you lightened her step for the rest of her day -
    Blessings to you for your faithfulness and thank you as always for your wonderful encouragement to me. I appreciate your friendship dear one!
    Kymber

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  14. Rosel,
    As always my sister in Christ you have encouraged me again. I love you.
    God bless you and don't forget to enter my give-a-way on Seeking Grace.
    Love,
    Bren

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  15. Hi RCube, your message is good but I have to admit I don't like that the woman had to pick up garbage..it makes me think that is all she's worth. I know that's not the case and it's just me. :(
    I also hate that word obey b/c that came with a price for me but I do understand what you're saying. Sarah

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  16. Sometimes I forget that I have chosen to be a handmaiden of the Lord, and yet He calls me "friend". This was a great post, Thank you.

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  17. @ sister Sarah: I truly understand why you felt that way. Working inside the prison is a part of their behavior modification and gives them a sense of self-worth. For them to "obey" is not easy but a big step of that much needed change. When committing crimes, they don't obey such laws. But inside, they learn that. To respect authority. And hopefully, they will carry with them when released.
    As Christians, we know, it's Christ Who only does the best change any man/woman can have inside out. I appreciate your honest comments. Blessings.

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  18. Beautiful illustration. I admire the way you present your thoughts. God bless you always. :)

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  19. RCUBE,
    i love your blog. no, i mean i LOVE it. what a Savior! i love the text in Acts you used to introduce your blog about Paul & Silas. i love your music ... what taste you have. what a blog full of hope. touches your heart ... especially when i am on the road and am alone. it reminds me that one day we will stand with Him and meet Paul & Silas. no matter what! no matter how many wrinkles. no matter how many scrapes this llife has to give me. i will stand again with our great hope in Him. thanks for this blog.
    nikonsniper steve

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  20. Hey RCubes, as always, your compassion towards the inmates is a wonderful example of Christ's love in action. And a great message too, the importance of obeying Christ even when others are against us doing so.

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  21. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you:
    But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed-1Peter 12 & 13
    If we do suffer for Christ's sake , then that is not a bad thing because the world is not gong to treat the servant better than the master .
    Blessings,
    ~Myrna

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

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



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