For a little less than a month, many people I know, as well as countless others that I don’t know, have been struggling with the loss of an incredible young man who took his own life. As always, this was massively unexpected. At the funeral, hundreds of devastated people gathered, not only to mourn, but to celebrate this man’s life. After a tragedy such as this, it is easy to think, “What could I have done to change this?” It is heartbreaking to see the hundreds of people affected by the tragic, life ending action of just one person. If only he had known how many people care about him.
This event made me think of those who have tried, successfully or unsuccessfully, to commit suicide. What pushes humans towards this? It could be depression, shame, guilt, abuse, or a million other things. Often have I witnessed people react in negative ways due to feelings of shame or guilt, perhaps because of something they did. It breaks my heart to know that there is someone out there who feels so ashamed of what they have done, that suicide is considered the only option.
I was then reminded of this set of verses:
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
If you call Jesus Christ your Lord, you have been freed from sin, and you have a God that you can trust in. God takes our sin, our shame, our guilt, and makes us clean. He fixes us, heals us, and uses us to help other broken people find him. If you ever find yourself in a dark place, please know that God is more than capable and willing to heal your heart.
One final point: check up on the people in your life, INCLUDING those who you think are “doing pretty good”. Ask them how they are, pray for them, and stay in contact with them. Humans are professionals at faking joy and happiness. Don’t be afraid to ask people how they are, and to let them know that the Lord loves them.
“Peace, be still/ Say the word and I will
Set my feet upon the sea/ Till I'm dancing in the deep.
Peace, be still/ You are here, so it is well.
Even when my eyes can't see/I will trust the voice that speaks.”