23 Minutes in Hell
One night I was catapulted to the very pit of hell--a terrible place of grotesque creatures, toxic fumes, and terrible darkness.
I wanted desperately to get up and run. But as I lay on that wretched cell floor, I noticed that I had absolutely no strength in my body. I could barely move. Why didn't I have strength? I felt so defenseless. Psalm 88:4 says, "I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hathno strength
I knew that it was much more than physical weakness I was feeling. Indeed, it was weakness of every form. I was mentally and emotionally drained, even though I had only been there a few minutes. Most of us have experienced a loss of strength and energy after intense weeping, emotional distress, or grief. After a time of healing, we regain that strength though it may take years. However, at that moment I felt that there would never be a time for recuperating from the literal weight that had fallen upon me—a weight of hopeless despair.
Two more creatures came into the cell, and I had the feeling that these four beings had been "assigned" to me. I felt as though I was being "sized up" and that my torment would be their amusement. As they entered, suddenly the light vanished. It became absolutely pitch black. I had no idea why the sudden and intense darkness had begun. But I sensed that the light that had been present had been an intrusion and that the atmosphere had now returned to its normal state of darkness. Lamentations 3:6 states: "He has set me in dark places like the dead of long ago."
One of the creatures picked me up. The strength of the beast was amazing. I was comparable to the weight of a water glass in its hand. Mark 5:3-4 describes a man possessed with a demon with these words: "...no one could bind him, not even with chains...the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces." Instinctively, I knew that the creature holding me had strength approximately one thousand times greater than a man. I cannot explain how I perceived that bit of information. Then the beast threw me against the wall. I crumbled onto the floor. It felt as though every bone in my body had been broken.' I felt pain, but it was as if the pain was being somehow softened. I knew I did not experience the full brunt of the pain. I thought, How was it blocked?
The second beast, with its razor-like claws and sharp protruding fins, then grabbed me from behind in a bear hug. As it pressed me into its chest, its sharp fins pierced my back. I felt like a rag doll in its clutches in comparison to his enormous size. He then reached around and plunged his claws into my chest and ripped them outward. My flesh hung from my body like ribbons as I fell again to the cell floor. These creatures had no respect for the human body—how remarkably it is made. I have always taken care of myself by eating right, exercising, and staying in shape, but none of that mattered as my body was being destroyed right before my eyes.
I knew that I could not escape this torture via death, for not even that was an option. Death penetrated me, but eluded me. The creatures seemed to derive pleasure in the pain and terror they inflicted upon me. Psalm 116:3 (KVJ) says, "The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow." Oh, how I yearned for death, but there would be none.