When you cross rivers, you will not drown.
When you walk through fire, you will not be burned,
nor will the flames hurt you.
3 This is because I, the LORD, am your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43:2-3 (NCV)
I was calm when this battle at work started. None of the surprising attacks from those who love to see other people get hurt ever caught me off guard. Out of the many years I had been working behind the prison walls, my spiritual condition was allowed to grow. You see, when I injured my neck in 1997 from a busy Orthopedic ward in a famous hospital, I worried. I thought I wouldn’t be able to do Nursing anymore after a treating physician had advised for me to look for other options, aside Nursing. I let hope slipped away from within me, nurturing anxiety instead of it.
With endless tears I cried out for help. He heard me! In front of a blinking cursor, He guided my hands to type the word “corrections…” And right in front of my eyes, He showed me that He indeed could open doors if everything else had closed in on me. With the background check that usually took months only took a few weeks for me. With renewed confidence, I faced a couple of interviewers who were careful in finding out both of my weaknesses and strengths. Until I had turned the table and asked the Nurse Manager if I could be given a tour inside the prison. She marveled at the brave request I had demanded. She told me none of the previous applicants had ever said that before. She liked the idea because she said that maybe that was the reason why many who were eager at first to start working in the prison, ended up quitting, right on the first day of their work.
To make this story short, I was given that tour. What was beautiful outside was completely opposite from what I saw inside. Heavy metal doors were banging. I heard lots of yelling, either from deputies or disrespectful inmates. Fists were thrown into the air.The Infirmary was busy. Phones were constantly ringing. Mental Health Services were checking their long lists of those needing to be seen and evaluated for their mental problems. Medical doctors, same with Nurses, had their hands full with the sick call they needed to finish that day. I left very uncomfortable after seeing a new workplace that was completely strange for me. I left a little intimidated and scared because none of my Orthopedic skills would apply.
I was barely parking my car into our garage when the phone rang. When I picked it up, it was the Nurse Manager who couldn’t wait for my answer. She offered: “You’re hired! Are you able to start tomorrow?”
How could I say “No” when Someone opened that door for me. Despite the fear of unknown, I knew that was the time that I should place my trust in what He could possibly do for me. The first thing for me to do on my part was to “believe.”
The first three months were tough. I sustained injuries but the kinds that were not seen. Fear... Hopelessness...Intimidation...Doubt...Ridicule...Rejection... My heart was wounded countless times, scarred in different places.
Looking back, now I know I was injured in order for me to learn how to endure. The trials were not about to end. I was to face a bigger battle.It only started. Except I was not afraid anymore, no matter what the outcome. He arms me. He protects me. He guides me. He surrounds me.
Indeed, God gives and God takes away...I must let go of any worry and fear no matter what circumstances I’m in because I do belong to Him. The fact is: it’s not my hold on Him that saves me. It is His. And because of that, I choose to rejoice and praise His Name, no matter what season of life I’m in…Blessed be Your Name Oh Lord!
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].