Besides the need for hope, the need for comfort could be the greatest thing people desire. When we call certain foods “comfort food”, it’s an indicator of a deeper need to fill. Something food really can’t fill, but we try.
For a person having thoughts of suicide, food doesn’t even come close.
As a pastor I counsel with people a lot on the need for comfort through hard times. Often the question is asked, “Why am I going through this struggle?”
I’m a realist as well. I turn to passages like 2 Corinthians 1:4 when questions like this are posed to me.
“He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
He, being God, comforts us, literally calls us near to Him during our pressure and anguish. Not to take it away necessarily. Look at what the verse says…”so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction”
So that we can call near someone else who is going through a struggle! So we can relate to them and draw near to them; help them. This can only take place if we are ready, willing, and able to help. If we have compassion.
For the person having thoughts of suicide, the need for someone to take the time to understand is huge comfort. The signs are not always very visible, but that person is sending out “warning flags” for help, they want to talk about it.
Recently a well know pastors son completed a suicide. This young man had struggled for a long time with depression and other troubles. His family had gotten him help from some of the top experts in the country. Yet he still became another who could not overcome his thoughts of death.
When it comes to a viewpoint on this situation from “the church”, I can only offer my own humble and personal opinion.
It is sad that another life ended in this manner, any life. And yes, it can even happen in “the church”!
Guess what, we are human too! Any human can have suicidal thoughts and without help can succumb to those thoughts. For them, it actually brings the comfort they are desperately seeking, even when it happens in “the church”.
This is not a time for “the church” to be silent though. It is a time for us to take what the last part of that verse says…“through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
Give comfort to those who are hurting because we are receiving from God the comfort we need. Don’t hold onto it. Don’t circle the wagons and become protective. Rather become proactive and share it.
We, those in “the church”, are the conduit of God’s comfort to others. Let that marinate in your noodle for a bit!
You mean we are to put aside our feelings and attitudes about certain things, even suicide, in order to help others?
REALLY, put others first? What kind of wack-job thinking is this???
It’s Christ’s way of thinking!
My Honey recently had an experience in promoting the book about her attempted suicide where I was very surprised at the response. Essentially the point was that the publishing house would not publish a book on suicide at this time or maybe never, because “the church” is hurting right now.
REALLY? Isn’t one of the things Jesus called His church to do is help those who are hurting?
More on that next time!
That’s one shepherd’s stance for today, peace out!