On Friday of this week, an acquaintance who is in ministry took his own life. I know none of the details and don't need to know apart from the fact that no one takes their life unless there is overwhelming pain they are dealing with. As one who has suffered deep depression in my past I know that pain and count it God's grace that I did not act on some of my own thoughts.
We are deeply broken people. I am more aware than ever of my own brokenness and need of God's grace and am so thankful for Good Friday and Easter morning that we soon celebrate. I often say that everyone has either public or private pain. It is the result of a fallen world. My acquaintance was a victim of a fallen world but the evil one was defeated at the cross and resurrection and will not prevail in this "apparent victory."
John 10:10 says that the evil one comes to steal, kill and destroy. Since he cannot get at God he goes after those who are made in His image. But the rest of the verse says that Jesus comes to give life and life abundant. In the end God wins. In fact, He has already won on the cross and Satan now fights a losing battle. But he fights on and there are losses.
I am deeply sad for a young pastor who gave into his pain and for his wife and family and congregation. I am deeply thankful for the truth of Good Friday and Easter which proclaim victory over the evil one.
One lesson I take away from this is that there are people around us who live in pain, public or private. I pray that we will be sensitive to them and their situation, come around them and offer them hope. Ironically, this pastor offered hope to many every Sunday yet needed that hope himself in a deep way. Never assume that the individual or friend you rub shoulders with does not need encouragement and hope. Even your pastor who lives in the same fallen world that we all do.
And if it is you who need encouragement, seek it. In Jesus there is always hope, always redemption, always grace and always forgiveness and always healing. Satan will not prevail in this instance for the resurrection comes and He has been defeated. But lets care for one another this side of heaven.
(Posted from Wayne, PA)