So just yesterday I heard the story of a 53 year old man, living a good life with 3 kids... and things got a little crazy and finances got a little tight and Satan convinced him to take his own life. Before that on Sunday, came the news of a pastor's son who committed suicide because there seemed no other way out. What you don't know is that years ago, this was me.
I was depressed and life was black and death seemed like a good escape. The pain was so real and God was absent and you can only take the pain so long before it starts to destroy... As I lay there that night, I began to plan... how could this work? what would I do?
But it didn't take my heart too long to be broken again because I realized I couldn't go through with it - I was too chicken, too much of a coward and I knew I wouldn't be able to do it right.
Looking back, I thank God for that one second of doubt, because He used that one second to pour out His presence over me. I lay there ready to take my life, and in that moment, Jesus was there, and He was all I could see, feel and hear. So when I hear stories like these, of a man and a son, who took their own lives, I am devastated.
why didn't they get that 1 second God?
And if they did, why wasn't it enough to stop them?
How is it we can stop buying every other lie Satan tells us but we'll believe him when he says death is the only way?
The only question I have an answer to is the last.... Unless you have walked through the valley of depression and felt that pain then you probably won't completely understand. But the truth is, we believe this death lie satan tells us because the pain of depression is so intense it consumes everything. We believe this lie because nothing else has worked and it's too much to bear alone. Even when we know it's a lie, it's hard to stop listening, because the voices are everywhere. We can't just stop them because we want to.
As for the first two questions, the only thing I know is this; though we don't have the answers this side of Heaven, we have The Answer - Jesus Christ, and we have to believe that He is enough. In His presence, all our questions fade. I don't know why a 53 year old man didn't stop to think of his family and the way his death would destroy his kids. I don't know why a beloved son couldn't find the freedom from depression he so longed for. But I do know Jesus, and I know he has never and will never leave our sides. He was present in both those moments where blackness took it's toll, and I wish I knew why He didn't reach out His Hand and stop death from happening but I trust Him. I trust His purpose and His plan, and I trust that He was weeping in that moment right alongside those families.
Grief is hard but Jesus is present.
He weeps alongside us whilst upholding us.
He'll make beauty out of these ashes someday.
Depression is real, but so is God.
Pain is strong, but so is His Church.
I don't know how to finish these thoughts and tie this blog in together, so I'll leave you with the wise words of Ann Voskamp and a strong recommendation to read her blog A Holy experience.
"You cant be anyone's Saviour. But you can be someone's prayer warrior.
Let God be God and you be His serviceperson. Because the thing is - the hottest flame is aloneness and you snatch someone from the fire by simply grabbing their hand."