I had not heard of Jarrid Wilson before this past week. He committed suicide Monday. He was 30. He was also a pastor – an associate pastor of a large church out west. He often spoke about his own depression – helped start up a non-profit ministry dealing with mental health issues as well. We might think spiritual leaders are above the struggles of everyday people, but they are not. The truth is we all live in a broken world – and that brokenness extends to how we think and feel. Depression is one of the contributing factors in suicide. Medicine can help, but it alone won’t take away the pain.
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? Ps 13:1. In her excellent devotional, Doubt – Trusting God’s Promises (I’m currently reading it), Elyse Fitzpatrick writes, “In pouring out his heart to God, David describes what seems like a bottomless well filled with despair. He is drowning in sorrow. He feels like God has forgotten him.” But read the rest of the psalm. David counsels himself, But I will trust in your steadfast love. We can’t trust our feelings. They lie to us. In such times we need to remember God’s loyal love. No matter how bleak things look, we must remember the truth God has not forgotten us. Though suicide is a serious sin, it is not the unpardonable sin. If you are having such thoughts – you need to talk to a friend – you need to see your doctor. Don’t feel such hopelessness. True hope is rooted in truth. Ps 130:5, I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope. God’s Word provides hope. And so does the Body of Christ.