“I wish I was dead.”
“Kill me now, Lord. I can’t take this anymore.”
You didn’t think you were alone in praying that, did you?
Man, life is a fantastic journey, to be certain, but sometimes the darkness seems too heavy a burden to bear.
I’ve been there, praying, “Lord, just take me. I can’t deal with this anymore. I’m too weak. This is too much. Just let me come home.”
But yet I remain. Why? Well, the easy answer is, “it wasn’t my time.” The reply which is a bit more complex would be, “with God, nothing is impossible.”
You feel you can’t make it through another day, and yet you do. How many times have you prayed the same prayer, but to no avail? You are stronger than you think, and God has placed within you the strength and resolve to make it through anything this life can throw at you.
Many of the biblical “heroes” were so overburdened at times they also wished they were dead. I know it sounds crazy, but I find comfort in pulling back the curtain and seeing them as they were: ordinary people who were called to do something extraordinary. Mortals who were destined for dreams beyond their imagination, led by an immortal God.
Here are some cool examples:
In Numbers 11, Moses cried out to the Lord about the Children of Israel, who seemingly were impossible to please, saying, “I simply cannot keep carrying them along. They are way too heavy. If You plan to treat me like this, then just kill me now. If You care about me at all, just put me out of my misery so I do not have to live out this distress (verses 14 & 15).”
Sounds funny now, being half a century old, married 30 years and a grandpa, but as a young man I specifically recall praying, “God, if You care about me, You’ll kill me now.” When I woke up the next morning I sighed deeply, and spat out, “Wow, thanks a LOT, God!”
I was angry I’d woken up. Makes me laugh now, but at the time I was deadly serious.
So, did God strike Moses down? Did He rag on the man for his lack of faith? Absolutely not. In the next verse, God asked Moses to gather a group of elders to help him carry the burden.
Most of us are familiar with the trials of Job; how he lost everything except his wife. Many who haven’t read his book only remember Job saying, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
But that’s not all he said. In chapter three he wept, “And may the early-morning stars be extinguished. Let the day wait for a light that won’t ever come, and may it never see the eyelids of dawn crack open. Because it neither closed the door of my mother’s womb nor covered my eyes to these sorrows. Why did I not die at my birth, simply pass from the womb into death? Why did my mother’s lap welcome me, and why did her breasts nourish me? If I had died, then I would now be reposed in quiet; I would be sleeping in peace, resting with kings and their earthly ministers who rebuilt ruined cities to glorify themselves, with princes who possessed gold, whose houses swelled with silver (verses 9-15).”
Translation: “Why didn’t I die at birth?” YEESH, that’s a morbid prayer, eh?
When Jezebel sought to kill the prophet Elijah in First Kings 19, he also wished for death, despite all the amazing feats God had led him to preform. In verses four and five we read, “He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: ‘Enough of this, God! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!’ Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.”
Lastly, we have the complex and fascinating story of Jonah. After he spent three days in the belly of a fish, was upchucked onto the beach and finally set about fulfilling God’s will, verse eight says, “And when the sun arose, God provided a scorching east wind; and the sun beat upon Jonah’s head till he became faint. Then he wished for death, saying, ‘It is better for me to die than to live.'”
So that feeling you’ve had, of wanting to die, has been felt by people for thousands of years.
You’re not alone. You can make it. Read the full stories of the gentlemen I mentioned above, and you’ll see they, too, made it out of their desert of gloom.
“He will neither leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6b).”
You were destined for tomorrow.