I had an unexpected meeting at church the other day. A friend who had cut off all communication showed up. I went to greet her and we started talking. I soon learned that my friend had been in the hospital for two months (during which all I could do was pray for her well-being). She told me she had been on suicide watch.
My heart is heavy. In a way I'm not surprised at her situation. She had been distancing herself from everyone around her for several months now. And she had stress in her family relationships and in her job. She is single and lives alone. Its tough.
But what made me sad is that she chooses to believe that no one cares about her. That is simply not true. But when a Christian isolates him or herself from other believers... when a Christian believes that everyone else should be thinking about them and serving them... that's when the enemy has a chance to find cracks in the armor.
Listen friends, it doesn't matter how long you have been a Christian, it doesn't matter how much of the Bible you can quote. If you don't obey what God says, if you don't get involved with any other Christians and find ways to serve than you are a sitting duck. Prime bait on the hook. And the Lion is always prowling for stragglers.
We are in a spiritual war whether we choose to recognize that or not. And the enemy will not hesitate to attack regardless of our level of involvment. When God tells us to obey Him it isn't so that we have no fun in this life. It is to preserve our lives and help us live to our full potential!
My friend and I talked for a long while and during that time I strongly felt the Holy Spirit urge me to tell her this one truth: If someone chooses to take their own life that responsibility ultimately falls solely on their own shoulders. It is between them and God. No one else.
My friend was silent and nodded. I was careful not to be harsh but I believe that no one ever spoke to her so frankly before. And if she is thinking about killing herself, and gives herself the excuse that none of her friends care enough, than I will not carry guilt because of her choice.
I have already experienced the grief of suicide three times before with two friends and a past student. It is a pain beyond words and I have learned through bitter tears that life and death cannot be carried on our own shoulders. Beyond having done all I could to help and encourage I have learned that God does not hold me responsible for their choices.
But at the same time I have realized that it is a lie to believe you or I cannot comfort someone who is depressed or grieving. It is a lie to believe that somehow something you or I say or do would cause someone to kill themselves. Suicide is a selfish act. It hurts everyone.
Ultimately, all we can do for people who struggle with depression is to love them and help them as best we can. Never judge them or berate them for feeling depressed. But if someone doesn't want to be helped there is nothing anyone can do about that.
I'm not saying I know it all. I'm not saying my experiences are the best solutions for anyone. All I'm saying is that God has sustain me through dark, deep waters in my life and He has been there for me when I lost people I loved. Sometimes there are no answers but I refuse to be an excuse Satan uses to claim another life. May God deal with him as he deserves. Christ has already given me the victory and by the power of Jesus name I move forward without regret or fear of what could happen.
Oh Lord, only you know the inner turmoil in my friend's heart and mind.
Only you can heal the deep, broken places in any soul.
For you came not for the healthy but for the sick.
Please heal my friend Lord and spare her life, that she might rise above her anguish.
Lord I pray for victory in her life.
And please grant others and myself who know her, peace and endurance.
Whatever happens may you be glorified.
In Jesus powerful name,