I discussed my suicide attempt and how the Lord saved my life in two of my earliest blogs, “My Suicide Part 1” (https://brokenpeople.blog/2016/12/22/my-suicide-part-1/) and “My Suicide Part 2” (https://brokenpeople.blog/2016/12/23/my-suicide-part-2/), both from December, 2016. The long and the short of it is that I had come to the end of my rope, took several dozen pills and went to bed, never expecting to wake up.
When I did wake up, I thought, “Well, shoot, that didn’t work. Better go to the hospital.” They pumped my stomach, which cannot be recommend as a fun, Saturday morning activity.
My friends, my family and I are battle-scarred, as no doubt are you. We’ve faced life-thieving addiction, gut-wrenching heartache and tragic loss. Even through the scars and the sadness, however, we sing a song of deliverance. One that only Christ Himself can orchestrate.
I’m close to people whose children have died, accidentally, by their own hand or someone else’s. I’m close to people who were “hopelessly” addicted to drugs and alcohol, and have been delivered literally from the point of death.
My Uncle Aaron was a hardcore addict for decades, and tells about a time he was getting wasted and his truck slid into the lake. He jumped in after it, was dragged deep into the water, and thought he was going to die. After struggling for what seemed an eternity, he took in one big breath, felt his lungs fill up with water, looked up at the sun peeking through the gentle lake water one last time, and resigned himself to die.
Next thing he knew he exploded up out of the water, not even knowing how it happened. A buddy of his said he “flew” up, like he’d been propelled.
I think he had; by his guardian angel.
I am friends with women whose husbands decided they wanted to trade them in for a younger model. These cowardly men simply walked away, leaving the hearts of these amazing ladies lying there, beating passionately and bleeding in the snow.
Two very close, personal friends of mine recently had a drug relapse, and my Aunt Marsha’s 35-year-old son, Tony, was shot and killed last week.
Yeah, there’s no doubt about it: life SUCKS sometimes.
Or, perhaps better stated on the movie “God’s Not Dead,” “Life is hard but God is good.”
Anyone who has trudged the path of faith for any length of time will tell you it’s not an easy road.
But, again, to quote another cliché, “God never said it’d be easy; He said it’d be WORTH IT.”
I quoted from the biblical book of Jonah in my last blog, regarding the prophet’s contempt for the very people God sent him to save. Today I read his prayer in chapter two, which he uttered in the belly of the fish. I’ve read it before, but this time I felt like I needed to share it with my blog friends.
Some of us grew up hearing Sunday School stories about Jonah, and you might have even seen him and the whale hanging out together on flannel boards. It sounds more like a children’s tale, but think about it: this dude had been thrown out of a boat, into a raging sea.
It was death for sure, man.
Well, he tells the story better than I do:
“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from inside the fish:
‘In my great trouble I cried to the Lord and he answered me; from the depths of death I called, and Lord, you heard me! You threw me into the ocean depths; I sank down into the floods of waters and was covered by your wild and stormy waves. Then I said, “O Lord, you have rejected me and cast me away. How shall I ever again see your holy Temple?”
‘I sank beneath the waves, and death was very near. The waters closed above me; the seaweed wrapped itself around my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains that rise from the ocean floor. I was locked out of life and imprisoned in the land of death. But, O Lord my God, you have snatched me from the yawning jaws of death!
‘When I had lost all hope, I turned my thoughts once more to the Lord. And my earnest prayer went to you in your holy Temple. (Those who worship false gods have turned their backs on all the mercies waiting for them from the Lord!)
‘I will never worship anyone but you! For how can I thank you enough for all you have done? I will surely fulfill my promises. For my deliverance comes from the Lord alone. (Jonah 2)”
I’m not here to tell you life will be easy. I’m here to tell you God cares about you. He loves you, even when you have nothing left.
God is there for you when you’re hopelessly strung out.
God is there for you when you’re living on the streets.
God is there for you when you lose your job.
God is there for you when your child dies.
God is there for you when you feel suicide is the only answer.
God is there for you when you’re trapped in an abusive relationship.
God is there for you, even when you hate Him. Even when you don’t believe in Him.
He’s not an absentee father. He doesn’t split at the first sign of trouble. He’s neither scared by your bad attitude nor repelled by your decadent past.
So, for the cynic, just kinda store that in the back of your mind. The fact that God is there for you, ALL THE TIME, might come in handy someday.
Uncle Aaron and I can relate to Jonah, in that we, too, were saved from the yawning jaws of death.
Here are some verses which will help to blanket you from the cold of life’s adversities:
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. (Psalm 46:1-3)”
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)”
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Psalm 9:9-10)”
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7-8)”
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord you God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (Isaiah 43:1-3)”
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)”
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. (Psalm 145:18-19)”
“(Cast) all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. (1 Peter 5:7)”