When I was in my early 20s I worked “night maintenance” (which was a fancy term for “janitor”) in the headquarters building of a major Pentecostal denomination. My wife, Laura, and I were having marital problems, and I thought we were headed for divorce. The thought of her beautiful face, along with my precious baby girl, kept swimming around my mind, and my heart was breaking.
Additionally, I was only working part-time, and felt MILES away from where I wanted to be. The icing on the cake was the fact that I had been fighting depression for a few years by this point, and the pain in my back was getting worse. I was utterly miserable, and literally dropped to the floor and wept like a baby. I was all alone in a 5-floor warehouse, and there was no chance of me getting caught, so I just let it all out, man.
I mean, I cried from my soul. One of those weeping sessions when your whole body shakes.
When I started to settle down a bit, I suddenly became aware of a worship song being played over the PA system. I couldn’t remember ever hearing music in the warehouse before, so I’m not sure if I had previously been oblivious to it, or if God orchestrated a mini-miracle and unexpectedly piped it through.
Either way, these words flowed gently through the crackling speakers:
“And Jesus said, ‘Come to the water, stand by My side. I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied. I felt every tear drop when in darkness you cried, and I strove to remind you that for those tears I died’.” *
It was then I knew I wasn’t alone in that cold, dark warehouse. Jesus was right beside me. The Holy Spirit tossed a blanket around my frigid, shivering spirit, and I felt the warmth of God’s love.
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you (Psalm 27:14)!”
I’m here to tell you that, no matter what you were told when you were a child, and no matter what the so-called “evidence” of others tries to prove, there IS a God, and He loves you. I know things look bleak at times. I know sometimes death seems the only escape, but this is a lie from the master of darkness, Satan himself.
A couple years after this incident I tried to kill myself, but God spared my life, even though I didn’t deserve it. He could’ve let me die, and pass through the veil of eternity without Him, to be cast into outer darkness.
But He saved my life because He loves me. And He’s sending you a message through me right now as a reminder of the same love.
“Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up (1 Corinthians 13:7).”
I would live on to see my marriage repaired (we celebrated 30 years of wedded bliss this year), watch my amazing daughter grow into a strong and beautiful woman, see the birth of my son and watch him grow into a fine gentleman, and the births of both my grandchildren. God would help me work my way through not only a Bachelor’s but a Master’s degree, and now am slowly building a writing ministry I’m praying will go full-time in the next few years.
So much joy I would’ve missed. So much happiness was waiting to be seized, and all I had to do was NOT GIVE UP.
Let the life-lessons of those of us who tried and failed to end our lives send a glaring message to this dying world: Jesus cherishes you, and wants to infuse your entire being with His never-ending love and encouragement. Only He can calm the rage, and give you a peace which passes human understanding.
You can’t give up—not today. Don’t let the darkness win! Press on, with a steely-eyed determination, toward love, toward Heaven.
“Be enthusiastic to serve the Lord, keeping your passion toward him boiling hot! Radiate with the glow of the Holy Spirit and let him fill you with excitement as you serve him. Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times (Romans 12:11-12).”
Blessings. Prayin’ for ya!
2 comments on “You Can’t Give Up — Not Today”
Wow! The Corinthians verse really pierced my heart today. I really needed to see that again as a reminder.
Yeah it really struck me and I had to include it. Thanks for your feedback!