A man stood on the edge of a cliff, prepared to jump and end his life. Discouraged by the thought of innocent people dying senselessly, world hunger, global wars, natural disasters and incurable diseases — he felt he could not take anymore.
Sad and disillusioned, the man bent his knees to jump, when suddenly a sunflower brushed up against his leg. It was barely noticeable, but he felt it. It was leaning towards the sun. He paused. He couldn’t help but notice its gentle beauty in a world full of tragedy. He was touched by its struggle to seek nourishment from the sun and to keep living even though it was barely noticed.
At that moment, he noticed the ascending sun opening the morning sky to an array of breathtaking colors. He felt the wind on his face. He heard different birds singing. He took a deep breath as fresh air filled his lungs. He looked out over the precipice, as if for the first time, noticing the vast wonders of creation. Living in a moment of silent meditation, tears filled his eyes and rolled down his face. The man smiled. He backed away from the edge of the cliff, laughing, holding his face, with renewed hope. He ran back into the society he had given up on and became the voice of encouragement.
Have you ever felt so discouraged by life’s anxieties that you wanted to give up? If so, you are not alone. Many people feel as if they are on the edge. It wouldn’t take much to push them over. What makes the difference? When we take a step back and take a moment to appreciate what truly matters in life, people often feel encouraged to keep going.
For example, instead of taking on all the troubles of the world, why not apply Psalms 55:22, which says, “Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” — New Living Translation.
Psalms 56:11 tells us, “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” — English Standard Version. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the LORD in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.” — Good News Translation.
Perhaps God will show you the right way through His wonders of creation. By meditating on them we are reminded that the troubles of the world are not God’s fault. Think about it. If we blamed God for all the wickedness in the world, whom do we credit for all the majestic mountains, array of colorful flowers and fruit-bearing trees as well as the starry heavens that light up the night sky?
As the Almighty told His chosen people through Moses at Deuteronomy 32:5, “They have acted ruinously on their own part; they are not his children, the defect is their own.” — New World Translation.
When we recognize that humans bring most of their troubles upon themselves, and that God is here to help us, not hurt us, we can slowly put things back into perspective. Like that sunflower leaning toward the sun for nourishment, we too should lean toward our source of spiritual nourishment and health.
Psalms 43:3 ask God, “Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain to the place where you live.” — New Living Translation.
When we seek God’s light and truth by reading His Word, our eyes become open in a different way. We see that God has a purpose that involves rescuing humans who are on the precipice of self-destruction. It involves giving them hope and comfort so that we can help others.
As 2Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” — New Living Translation.
Are we the voice of comfort and encouragement? Part of that Divine comfort rests in the knowledge that God’s Kingdom, with Jesus Christ as king, will eliminate the very problems that have pushed us to the edge of our existence. Gone will be wars, food shortages, natural disasters, fatal accidents, even sickness and death, according to Psalms 46:9, Psalms 72:12-16, Isaiah 11:6-9, and Revelation 21:4-5.
Why should we believe in these prophecies written thousands of years ago? It is for the same reason why we believe the sun will rise tomorrow and a thousand years from tomorrow. It is because the sun has done so without fail for as long as anyone can remember. We even base our clocks and calendars on the reliability of the movement of such celestial bodies.
Should we expect any less reliability from its Creator? Regarding His word, Jehovah says at Isaiah 55:11, “It will not come back to me without results, but it will accomplish whatever I want and achieve whatever I send it to do.” — GOD’S WORD Translation.
Isn’t it encouraging, to know that God cannot lie? All of God's promises will come true. So whenever you feel that life is overwhelming you — take a moment. Step back. Get back to nature. Get back to God. Look closer into spiritual things. Read God's Word daily and share its good news with others. Be the voice of encouragement.
Find your voice of reason and you will never be that person who goes over the edge.