The Snake Bite

“Oh…it looks better, I think…,” replied the young male inmate in front of me. He sustained a rattle snake bite few days ago on two of his fingers of the right hand. The index finger looked like it healed already. But the more severe bite was on the middle finger. There was a little drainage on his old dressing that he requested if he could see us so the dressing could be changed.

Often times, I ask the inmates how they think their wounds are looking since night shift nurses do not perform treatments at night. Treatments are usually done in the morning by the day shift nurses who specifically go to the jail’s every unit and with their list, would start seeing them one by one.

I didn’t do this inmate’s initial dressing change. But it still looked awful to me. I wouldn’t go into a much more detailed steps I took to change his dressing. But over all, his finger was still swollen, and had a dark discoloration. It looked like it was rotting. But to him, it looked better.

“Awww…” he moaned.

“What’s wrong?” I asked though I know it might hurt a little because of the swelling.

“It hurts every time you guys change the dressing,” he replied with his face looking the opposite direction.

“Sir, it’s done,” I softly answered.

“It is?” he asked in disbelief with his eyes opened wide and bigger.

“Thank you. That’s the first time it didn’t hurt,” he smiled as he looked at his newly-dressed swollen finger.

“I saturated your old dressing with saline. That’s why you didn’t even feel the pain when I took off the dressing. Here are some few Motrin. Take them few minutes before the day nurses start your dressing change in the morning. So you won’t feel as much pain,” I added.

Carnal Christians….Seems like it’s hard to believe these words can go together. But they do. Since we are descendants of the famous first couple back in Eden days, the snake tempting Eve to take that bite from that fruit of knowledge, which she did, it had been difficult to re-program ourselves, despite us, being born-again Christians. Carnal means being controlled by the flesh.

We always think Satan as our spiritual enemies. But we forget that sometimes, our greatest enemies are ourselves. Our flesh. After accepting Christ into our hearts, we think that we are looking better in our spiritual state. That we are progressing. When deep inside, our flesh are warring against our own spirit. Against His Spirit in us. And the spiritual enemy, makes us think we are progressing when truly we’re not.

I know that you and I feel that pain. Deep inside. Whenever we do something we don’t want to do and end up doing it. Paul said it best:

“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.” - Romans 7:14-17

Being born again and becoming a Christian is not enough to prevent us from sinning and from temptations. It is a lifelong process. Only by being saturated with the Living Water, by His Word and obeying them help us in our spiritual state.

Let us take a look again at our spiritual wounds, caused by our own choices and the snake’s bites…It’s through knowledge that we can overcome this and be healed. It’s through God’s Word.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
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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].