Life. In all its fragile stages, it is the most precious of your Earthly possessions. Consider the saying, ďAt least you have your health.Ē Life should be treated as an honored gift from God. It is to be cared for and nurtured and lived. Never is it to be taken for granted, to be careless with, or simply tossed aside.
It is with great sadness that I write to you today. About a month ago, I learned the sad fact that a friend of mine was killed in Somalia. He was with the Tenth Mountain Group as an MP attached to the main force. During the daring rescue that you see in the movie Black Hawk Down, he was one of those that were killed. I went to basic training with this man. We went to Germany and were stationed together. We shared the same room. I know his wife and have spoken to his mother on the phone. I knew this man. I considered him my friend and my brother at arms.
His life, however short it was, was not wasted. He died doing what he thought was the right thing to do. He died defending the freedom that so many take for granted. In his death, I have been granted a chance to write these lines. I will ever be grateful for his sacrifice to this nation.
But people die everyday. Some by the hands of Death. Some by the hands of others in violent crime. Some die of their own hands, choosing to take the life they were given and end the perceived pain and suffering. Assisted suicide is no better than doing it yourself. I donít care if you call it your transitional phase or your end of life plan. Itís still suicide.
Suicide, no matter how you view it, is wrong. I believe it to be a sin. There are those of other religions that are in line with that. It is a disgrace to end your life. You should never get to the point that all seems so lost and hopeless that this would be the only way out. Iím here to tell you there is another way of dealing with the pain. Letís get started.
First of all, the most important thing you have to realize is that your life is important. Let me say that again. Your life is important. You matter. What you do matters. You are not just floating through this world and this existence without being seen or heard or noticed. Remember, I write as though you and I are talking one on one. You are here with me right now, and I see you. So pay attention and donít slouch.
Second thing is life hurts. Man, does it hurt. You get hit from all sides on this planet. Bills to pay, crummy job with no way out, government always on your case, parents not happy, crappy car always broken, kids wonít listen, etc. It all hurts, and itís all very real. These are not imagined pains. They happen everyday and to most of the planet. In that, you can find comfort. You are not alone. You are not the only one that has felt this way. Youíre not even the first one to feel this way today.
There are times when life seems to overwhelm you. You canít see the way out. If you do see the light at the end of the tunnel, then you just know itís a train coming to hit you. Thatís the third thing. Your outlook is negative. If all you see is the problems, then youíre only getting half the picture. Behind every problem, there is a solution. God will not give you anymore than you can handle and He will provide you a way out. I will also guarantee you that His way of escape is not suicide. That just is not in His plan for you.
Now that you are feeling more important and you know that the attacks are coming and you have even changed your outlook on this world, take this piece of advice with you. God is waiting to help you with your day. The awesome Creator of this world and of the universe itself is waiting and wanting to help you, yes little old you, with your everyday, mundane existence. That is powerful stuff. To know that I am important enough to God that He would gladly help me get through my day leaves me speechless, and some of you know how hard that is to do.
Now then, I have to at least make mention of this, but it comes with a warning. I have been asked numerous times about this, so Iím thinking that there are plenty more that donít know. Iíve researched this topic and even asked an old friend to check my bearings. My conclusion is this; if you are a born again Christian, and for whatever reason you commit suicide, then you are still going to Heaven. STOP! DONíT MOVE! I did not just give you permission. I just got done telling you that God does not want to see you kill yourself. It is still a sin, and one that you will not be able to clean up and confess before you get to His throne. I have also concluded that in the event that a ďChristianĒ commits suicide, then I would have serious doubts about his actual conversion. That means that you salvation experience may have been flawed or based on bad doctrine. Consider this, if you actually believed that Jesus was in you and helping you get through your day, would you then still be alone in this world? Would you still need a way out that was not from Him or of Him? Would He not care for His child? I believe that it is possible, but not likely. So donít hasten the meeting. God knows when youíre supposed to arrive. Leave His timetable alone.
And to those that think that no matter the conversion experience, that once you commit suicide that you go to Hell, my answer is no you donít. A person goes to Hell for rejecting Jesus. If he commits suicide and goes to Hell, heís there for the choice to ignore Christ, not for the act of suicide.
Listen, I know that lifeís hard. I know all to well. You have a way out. Jesus is the way out. He is wanting to help you. He can ease the burden and give you a renewed sense of joy just to be alive. He will give you a purpose for your life. A meaning. And if you feel like taking your own life is the only way out, then send me an email, and Iíll set up a time to come and talk to you or at least call you and weíll talk about this. I donít have all the answers, but Jesus does, and I can at least point you to him. Heíll do the rest.