Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

Scripture: And he said to them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea; then the sea will become calm for you. For I know that this great tempest is because of me.” Jonah 1:12 (NKJV)

Observation: God sent Jonah to go immediately to Nineveh, but instead of following God’s command Jonah, immediately, went the opposite direction. He evidently hired a ship to take him far from God’s appointed ministry, but while on this journey a storm arose that threaten to capside the ship and throw everyone overboard and to their death. When it was discovered that Jonah was the culprit for this storm, Jonah told them to throw him overboard. . . to Jonah, assisted suicide was easier to bear than the hard work of speaking for God.
The Jewish Study Bible explains: “Jonah probably thought that death was the best available way out of his mission. Had he died, he would have successfully escaped from God’s call. Of course, the readers know that God will not let this happen. As soon as Jonah is thrown overboard, they expect a divine action aimed at saving Jonah from death. Their expectations are fulfilled.” (p.1201).
God never intended to kill Jonah or the other people on board the ship, and even when Jonah tried to find the “easy” way out God had already prepared his rescue – a large fish.

Application: We all probably have had a situation at one time or another which we have found almost overwhelming, almost hopeless, we can’t seem to find a clear solution, a way out of it. Some thoughts may have crept in: “I wish I were not here,” “I wish we were not married,” “I wish I were dead.” Many have taken the “easy” way out – divorce, abandoned the family, suicide. But while those steps might have gotten them some relief – maybe permanent relief in death – the results for those left behind are horrendous.
The effects of divorce, the breakup of a family, or suicide can be devastating to the children. I have known older adults who still experience the results of their parent’s suicide while they were children. There is a sense of guilt (Was it something I did?), rejection, (Why did he/she do that if he/she loved me? He/she must not have loved me!), shame (sometimes lying about the cause of death), feeling abandoned, questioning why it all happened, blaming themselves or others.
The wonderful thing about the story of Jonah, is that God does not abandon us even when we reject Him. God gives us not just a second chance but many chances. And God has an answer to our questions, a solution to our problems, a plan for our lives, a promise for our prayers. Even when we make bad decisions, God has better solutions.
Just this morning I read these words again: “Though difficulties, perplexities, and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that it is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Then marriage, instead of being the end of love, will be as it were the very beginning of love.” (Ellen G. White, The Faith I Live By, p. 253).

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, remove all negative thoughts from our mind, especially those thoughts that cause us and others harm. Father, as You gave Jonah a second chance, as You gave the Ninevites a new opportunity, please give us a new chance to change, to make our lives better, to make our marriages healthier and happier.


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Suicide Is Not Painless

Scripture: (1 Sam 31:4 NKJV)  Then Saul said to his armorbearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised men come and thrust me through and abuse me.” But his armorbearer would not, for he was greatly afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword and fell on it.

Observation: After the defeat before the Philistines and the death of his son Jonathan, Saul his situation as the fulfillment of the supposed seance with the late prophet Samuel.  In the darkness of his soul, Saul could see no way out of his situation and asked his armor bearer to kill him.  But when his armor bearer would not do it, Saul fell on his sword and took his own life.

Application: The first time I heard the lyrics of the movie and TV show M.A.S.H. I was shocked.  The music is one of the best recognized and reminds us of a comedy based loosely on the real-life army hospital during the Korean War.  But the lyrics, which were written for the movie, are shocking, and a horrible lie many have come to believe:

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see…
that suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.

I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it’s too late, and…

The game of life is hard to play
I’m gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I’ll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.

The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I’m beat
and to another give my seat
for that’s the only painless feat.

The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn’t hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows stronger…watch it grin, but…

A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied ‘oh why ask me?’

‘Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
…and you can do the same thing if you please.

My brother-in-law was a deputy sheriff in his early thirties when he took his own life with his service gun.  Eight years later, his family still suffers the consequences of his actions and every year at the anniversary of his death everyone in the family remembers with deep sorrow his actions and the void he left.  While the person taking his/her life may think suicide is quick and painless, the consequences to anyone who knows them are most painful and last a lifetime.
If you have thoughts of suicide, these options are available to you:

* Dial: 911
* Dial: 1-800-273-TALK
* Check yourself into the emergency room.
* Tell someone who can help you find help immediately.
* Stay away from things that might hurt you.
* Most people can be treated with a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.

If You Don’t Have Insurance

The following options might be used:

* Go to the nearest hospital emergency room.
* Look in your local Yellow Pages under Mental Health and/or Suicide Prevention; then call the mental health organizations/crisis phone lines that are listed. There may be clinics or counseling centers in your area operating on a sliding or no-fee scale.
* Some pharmaceutical companies have “Free Medication Programs” for those who qualify. Visit the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website at http://www.nami.org for more information.

Prayer: Father, life is precious and the actions we take not only affect us but affect everyone around us.  Loving God, help us to never consider ending our life but rather to seek the help that is available to us through many sources and from You.  Help us to always treasure life, as Your gift to us, and as Your gift through us to others.

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