It's Not Our Strength
He kept blaming himself for the injury he sustained.
"I'm suicidal! I did this to myself!" he constantly yelled, as 2 deputies were right beside me as I assessed his wounds.
There was an abrasion with redness on top of his head. But I didn't see any active bleeding. I got concerned when I saw the swelling on his right cheek bone. It was huge. And his right eye was darkened from the trauma it absorbed.
He was out in the rec [recreational] yard. According to the deputy, they didn't see him bang his head but that was what he was claiming when they took him out of the yard.
"Yes, I am hearing voices," he added.
He denied having a history of mental illness. But he used heroin from the past. He kept talking, claiming he did want to hurt himself.
Deep inside, I just knew. That someone else could have done these injuries to him. But even if he did do it on his own, that was understandable, too. For there was no way out in the prison. He could be exercising temporarily in that tiny space of the yard. The fact was he was still locked up. Being confined to a tiny space can make someone go crazy, having limited activities, having little contact with others.
Life in the prison is hard. Even a temporary time out of the tiny cell where they stay, is not freedom at all. Even harder is the fact that other inmates use power to step on the toes of the weak ones. They seek who they want to prey on. If they belong to a particular gang outside and if they figure out that a specific inmate is a part of the rival gang, they will plan to hurt and kill that inmate. Locked up and nowhere to go, the preys will not talk and end up creating injuries to themselves, so that they can be moved into another cell, away from their predators. To have a temporary lease on their lives.
We, too can't run away from our spiritual enemies. They prowl like roaring lions. They are always looking for a Christian believer to be devoured. But the truth is that if someone is a true believer in Christ, that person is not weak! Maybe he is just alone or weak in faith. Or one feels helpless because he is going through a tough trial, that he forgets to focus on Christ which in turn makes him forget to look out for danger and the enemy's tactics and attacks.
Even the strongest amongst us get tired. But God's power never diminishes! Believers must fight back not with their own strength but by the strength that comes from God. Relying on God is the only way to fight against the devil. The believer must have lockdowns, too, a special time with the Lord daily by reading His Word. It is vital to don the Armor of God, remaining strong with trust and faith on Him. Same with prayers, praying at all times and on every occasions. Staying alert and being persistent with prayers for all believers.
"Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:28-31
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].