Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better than a dead lion! ECC. 9:4 (NIV)
Yet prison is a place where “dead lions” flourish and “live dogs” fight for survival.
My first day at the Atlanta federal prison: April 1, 2013. I was asked by the prison psychologist if I was afraid, had trouble sleeping, was suffering from anxiety or having nightmares.
My response was and still is, “No, I have never had any fears, and I am doing just fine.” I think the response surprised her because I had never been in any jail or prison before. I had never been in trouble with the law before. The doctor noticed my Bible, frowned a little, and said the Bible may help me but if I needed someone to talk to, just look her up. She said she was always somewhere nearby at the prison. I appreciated the offer but I have never needed her services.
All my hope, faith, and trust has been placed in the Lord. I know that this short sentence is not the end of me. I know I will have a great future as soon as I finish the 46 months for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud. I am a “live dog.” On April 4, 2013, I was transferred from the main prison to the federal prison camp. Man … This is a place, the federal prison camp, that tries to turn everyone who comes here into “dead lions.” Psalm 25:3 (NIV) says, “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.” So the first thing that happens is people start trying to get you to renounce your faith in God. To get you to abandon hope in the Lord.
Your hear comments like, “I am tired of all the holy-rollers around me.” Or, “Where was your belief in God when you committed your crime?” Or, “God has no power here, you belong to the B.O.P., The Bureau of Prisons.” These are inmates that I call “Satan’s minions,” and they are referenced in the second part of Psalms 25:3: “But they will be put to shame that are treacherous without excuse.”
Satan’s minions actually like being in prison. “Dead lions.” What is there for them to dislike? Nothing! They eat three times a day. They don’t work too hard. They don’t have to pay bills, pay taxes or pay for a home to live in. They get to watch television, play cards, listen to music or just goof off. To them this is paradise.
Things get nasty when these inmates hear someone planning for life after prison. The smiling faces become frowning faces as they look for ways to drag you down. The once smiling minions of Satan say things like, “God did not put you here why are you praying? What are you praying for? Why are you going to the church in the chapel or Bible Study? You should have been going to church, praying and asking for God’s help before you committed your crime and got sent here. God is not listening to you now!”
You will never hear these inmates encourage you. They will never say God is love, peace, our hope, or our deliverer. Why? Because for you to believe in God and his promises is to expose this group of “smiling jackals” for what they are. Followers or minions of Satan. Who are here to steal, kill or destroy you or your hope.
What is interesting is that it’s so easy to be duped by Satan and his minions. What they say makes sense or at least seems reasonable. Satan knows the scriptures and he uses his minions in this prison to confuse, baffle and discourage. The Great Deceiver does not want you or me to know about, remember or believe in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you! declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But you will have nothing if you listen to Satan’s minions. That’s just fine with the Great Deceiver.
The Apostle Paul said in Romans 5:5 (NIV): “And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who he has given us.”
Satan and his minions don’t want you or me to know this. They want us disappointed, disillusioned and beat down! They don’t want us to go to the Lord in prayer or to make our request know to the Lord by prayer and supplication. Satan and his Minions want “dead lions” and not “live dogs.”
Saint Paul reminds us “live dogs” in Romans 12:12 (NIV): “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” We all get a second chance when we repent our sins and ask God to forgive us and our prior bad acts. And when we ask God for mercy. And expect and hope to receive it.
As Saint Paul said to Timothy in 1 Tim 4:9-10 (NIV): “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance, that we have put our hope in the Living God, who is the savior of all men and especially of those who believe.” So I am a believer and my hope is with God.Therefore I say to Satan and his Minions be gone! I am a “Live Dog” and I will never be one of you “Dead Lions.”
Questions or comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to:
FPC-Atlanta; Dorm D
PO Box 150160
Atlanta, GA 30315