At The Bottom Of The Wheel

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise." - Proverbs 11:30 (NIV)

I saw the frustrations on his face. A puzzled appearance the way his brows arched. He looked at his partner who had the same face. My son was playing tennis yesterday and they were ahead by 3 points to nothing. All of a sudden as if the wind blew against them, they started losing.

“Mom, I don’t know what happened,” he whispered as he gave me a hug and saw me watching his matches.

“That’ s okay. You tried your best and that’s what’s important, same with your partner,” I replied and hugged him tight.

The match between the 2 teams lasted longer than expected. And the whole team from my son's school lost by 2 points margin.

This morning, as I talked with my son before going to school, I reminded him not to be discouraged. There are times when we are at the bottom of the wheel. Some days, we are on top. But it is in those times of being low when we are pushed to our limits, testing our patience and endurance.

“When you lose, you are being put under a lot of pressure,” I stated. “But you must never quit. How much pressure can you take?” I asked him.

He was quiet, contemplating.

“I’ll keep trying, Mom. And I do pray.”

“Okay, then, keep praying anyway.  Pray for your partner, for the whole team and even for the other team. You know that with His strength, you can do it!”

I’m at the bottom of the wheel, too. As I fight against some people in power. I know that what they had been saying and doing is not right. But it’s not my time yet to say anything. For now, I’m learning to endure. It’s too much pressure and I feel like being crushed at the bottom. But I must learn how to endure, like what I tell my son. I know because he’s watching me, too. And as he watches me, so it is with others around us.

For life is not about winning or losing tennis matches. It’s not about me being right at work. Life is about winning souls for Christ. Souls who are watching and reading our character. Souls who are observing how we deal with stress and tremendous pressure. Souls who are hearing how we speak about things. We grow in character because He promises to be there during our times of trials.
" 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you." - 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (NIV)
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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].