My heart grew heavy as I read about the double suicide
of the radio hosts in New York City last night. So many people were shocked –
especially because the woman was a former psychotherapist. We tend to think
that certain “types” of people are immune to suicidal ideation – counselors,
ministers, teachers – but the truth is, there are times when we are all tempted
to lose hope.
Someone I care deeply about is in a rotten situation
that can seem pretty hopeless at times. I search for the words to say to bring
encouragement, but all I could tell him was “I’ll pray for you.” Even though I
meant that with all my heart, the words seemed inadequate to addresshise pain.
This morning I was listening to a sermon by Francis
Chan on Luke 22. What really caught my
attention were verses 31-32. Jesus is
basically telling Peter, Satan wants to tear you up, chew you up and spit you
out. This is Jesus talking to Peter – the King of Kings. He could have said, “Don’t
worry, I’ll protect you,” or “Don’t worry, I won’t let him,” but he didn’t.
Jesus responded saying, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.”
I couldn’t help but wonder if that is what is
happening in my friend’s life. Is Satan trying to sift him and destroy his
faith? Yes, God could change his
circumstances, but instead He is allowing him to be sifted to strengthen his faith.
If you are going through a difficult time, these words
may not change how you feel, but I want you to rest assured that God has not
forgotten you. He has not forsaken you. Those are lies the enemy wants you to
believe so that he can destroy your faith. Without our faith, there is no hope.
You have to cling to what you know is true about God even when you don’t feel
I remember thinking God had forgotten me as I
struggled to come to grips with Michael’s bipolar disorder. I’d cry out to God
and he was so silent during many of those years. I wondered if he was
listening. It’s easy to trust God when we see evidence of his goodness and
grace all around us – anybody can do that. It takes incredible faith to trust
him when all around you seems bleak.
If prayer was Jesus’ response to Peter’s sifting,
perhaps it is right that it should be our response as well. If you or someone
you know is going through a “dark night of the soul,” take time to be still and
call on the name of the Lord.
Labels: Inspirational, Mental Health, Suicide