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

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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].