When I was a youth I attempted suicide once. I had gotten so depressed about an argument I had with my father that I swallowed a bottle of aspirins. It wasn’t a full bottle but it was enough to make me so drowsy I felt myself dosing off.
I was home alone and the TV repairman had just arrived to fix our black and white television. He asked me why was I drooping in my seat. I told him I had swallowed a lot of aspirins. He asked why. I told him briefly what I told you and he continued working on the TV. He kept looking at me as he worked on our television.
My mom came home a little later than expected with two bags of groceries after getting off the city bus. I saw the repairman go into the kitchen behind her and whisper what I had done. Mom approached me, opened my eyes, stared into them and asked how many aspirins I took.
I guessed about seven or eight but I believe it was more. I was too scared to say. She made me hot black coffee and forced me to drink it all. The funny thing is, I knew the moment I swallowed those pills I had made a mistake. I didn’t want to die. I just wanted to hurt my father for hurting my feelings.
At the moment I swallowed those pills I didn’t feel I had anyone to turn to who cared. But I was wrong. I thought I would get a good spanking for what I did, but I didn't. My mom, overwhelmed with four children, separated from my dad at the time and barely making a living, just talked to me.
I honestly don’t remember feeling better. I was still upset with my dad, but when she told him what I had done and put him on the phone, I could feel his words, his love. For the first time in a long time he took the tone of a caring father who wanted to comfort his son. He was not the type to say I’m sorry. Still, I knew he was. I was sorry too. Deep down, I knew he loved me. He told me so often.
Even deeper down in side, I knew there was a God who loved me more. I have always felt God’s love — even when I didn’t know Him, I felt loved.
Like so many youths, I was confused, frustrated, I had no money, no goals and totally bored with my life. I really didn’t see the point to life at all. Over time I learned I am not the only person to feel this way. Even in the Bible there were faithful servants who expressed very negative feelings about life.
Moses, for example, was so frustrated in dealing with his own people that he told God at Numbers 11:14-15: “I can’t carry all these people by myself! The load is far too heavy! If this is how you intend to treat me, just go ahead and kill me. Do me a favor and spare me this misery!” — New Living Translation.
Job had suffered so much in the loss of his children, his health, wealth and social standing that he said at Job 10:1, “I hate my life.” — New Life Version. The prophet Elijah even prayed to die, according to 1Kings 19:4.
Jonah was so upset because God showed mercy on a people Jonah had prophesied would be destroyed that he told God at Jonah 4:3: “And now, O Jehovah, take, I pray Thee, my soul from me, for better is my death than my life.” — Young’s Literal Translation.
Did God condemn these individuals for wanting to die? No. Instead, He preserved their expressions in the Bible. Why? According to Romans 15:4: “For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” — New World Translation.
I didn’t understand everything I was reading, but by just opening my Bible and then opening my heart in sincere prayer to God — that made me feel a little better. Deep down inside I knew God wanted me to want to live, to endure.
As God said at Ezekiel 33:11: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” — New International Version. When I read that I thought, if God is concerned even about the lives of the wicked, how much more so is He concerned about nice people who have lost their way.
Some people think of suicide as an unforgivable sin. God’s Word does not say that. Instead, we are reminded at Ecclesiastes 7:7 that, “Oppression destroys a wise man’s reason.” — New King James Version. Oppression can lead to depression. Financial oppression, coping with injustice, suffering from health issues or a chemical imbalance can become so oppressive that a person’s thinking is no longer sound.
Would a God of love condemn or console such a person? Is God harsh or unreasonable? The Bible says God knows far more about us than any trained specialist. Psalm 103:14 says, “For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” — New Living Translation. Isaiah 40:28 reminds us, “His understanding is beyond human reach.” — Common English Bible.
The fact that He sacrificed His only-begotten Son to save this flawed humanity, according to John 3:16, is the clearest evidence that God values us more than we realize. What does this allow us to do?
Hebrews 4:16 says, “So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.” — GOD’S WORD Translation.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. It can help us to find kindness at the right time. That kindness may be in the form of a friend whom we call or a stranger knocking on our door. It could be anyone. Keep praying for help and allow others to pray with you if needed.
What if you are called on to help someone in their time of need? Being a good listener, allowing a depressed person to express their feelings and acknowledging the reality of the person’s pain can be very helpful.
Showing empathy, stressing that the person’s life is important to you, to others and to God, has been soothing to many distressed souls. If they need medical attention make sure they get it. At 1 Peter 5:7, God invites us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” — New International Version.
God cares about you. He cares very much about all of us. He has a purpose for you. Life is a gift. Please, don’t throw it away. Get help. Your best day is coming.
Anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress can call this 24-hour hotline for help: 1-800-273-8255.