The Nourishment

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I was dragging my feet as I neared the entry door of the prison. That was my first day to work PM shift after working many nights for many years. It wasn’t my choice. It was those people in power who wanted to see me crushed and were hoping for me to quit who wanted this to happen. In doing so, they thought that would have made me choose to leave my position. Except….”I’m not a quitter!”

“Rcubes! How are you?” yelled the Charge Nurse with a very excited tone of voice. I remained quiet for a few seconds and truly did not know how to respond to her seemingly nice welcome. How could I be enthused with such a warm greeting when she was the one among the many who wanted to end my career as a Correctional Nurse? How could I even acknowledge when she was among them who broke my trust?

“I guess I’m back to work,” I replied cautiously. I was not able to reply with the same excitement because to do that I knew would be a lie.

As I continue to wait for the outcome of my battle with them, one day at a time, I remain strong because of God. I often wonder, if these people who see themselves wise and are hungry for power go through a tough time like mine, where are they going to draw their needed nourishment if their faith is parched? Do they really think that they can get away with every evil plans they commit?

“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” – Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NLT)

It’s very clear! God said that when we sin, it is a matter of the heart!

I don’t want to be like them. But God had placed me in this dark place to work here. Being a Correctional Nurse gives me fulfillment. But along with it came a lot of pressures, too. Through the many seasons I have worked here behind the prison walls, God made me learn that He is the Source of my strength, my Fortress, and He truly is the Place of Refuge.

I don’t have the same desire every time I’m scheduled to work because of this battle I’m in. But I won’t let the enemies steal my joy. If ever my career here ends, I know it’s not them who made it possible but Him. And if He does, I know it’s because He wants me somewhere else.

In any battle or trials of life we face, God is teaching us patience. It seems we always have to wait. But in this waiting period, it is also a great opportunity to know more about the things of God. We fold our hands more in prayers as we bend our knees even if we end up with calloused knee caps. I pray for my enemies. I pray for the situation. But in this waiting period, I pray for me the most. For God to continue to mold me and make me like Jesus. For Him to change me the most. I feel I don’t even care about this battle anymore not because their accusations had no basis anyway but because I don’t want this to affect my thoughts and attitudes. I know I’m being given a hard time because I won’t succumb to pleasing them. But with a renewed heart, I would rather seek for only One’s approval. That of God’s. My Source of imperishable nourishment.

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join with scoffers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about his law. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season without fail. Their leaves never wither, and in all they do, they prosper.” – Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
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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].