Can you avoid suffering? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Many of us have been shocked recently to hear about the news of the death of Mike Adams. It gets even more saddening when the reports indicate that it looks like a suicide. When I first heard he had died, I was suspecting foul play. After all, Adams is a warrior type and he really enjoys being in the heat of controversy.
If there was ever a time I would have hoped that I was right….
As I thought about that, I thought about what my friend Clay Jones says about evil and suffering. You are not safe. This morning, I remembered what he has said before that in your life, you will see everyone around you die of murder, accident, or disease. There is one thing aside from the return of Christ that can prevent you from seeing this. That is your own death from murder, accident, or disease.
Years ago, we also saw Nabeel Qureshi pass away. He was just 34 and had stomach cancer strike him. Many of us around the world were praying for him and were confident God would not let this one pass away. This would be a miracle for the world. It was not to be.
You are not safe.
We have this strange idea that we are to avoid suffering and evil. When it hits us in our lives, we act like we have been dealt an unfair hand. Why should we be the ones who receive this? The real question to ask is why should we receive anything different?
We often want to act like life is great for us. Most of us on Facebook want to put on a happy face and act like everything is okay. Many of us thought the same thing about Mike Adams, and yet apparently underneath that warrior spirit, there was a deeply hurting individual and it really hadn’t been seen.
I have seen people I respect greatly go through sudden crises in their personal lives that come out of nowhere. I then wonder “Why didn’t they ask for help?” Then I think, “The same reason I normally don’t.” I want to be a man in part and say “I can handle this.” There’s also great pride in admitting many struggles one has.
I’m not saying be an open book entirely on a place like Facebook and share everything, but I am saying to be willing to be open to a certain group of people and tell them what’s going on. I have a personal mentor I email every night who knows a lot about what’s going on in my own world. I am sure if many of you saw the correspondences over the years, you would be stunned.
Churches sadly are not the best place because many churches have it that you show up and put on your Christian face that life is great. My wife and I were at a small group years ago at a church we definitely no longer attend when Allie talked about how she was struggling with doubt in prayer request time. She was actually told that they don’t talk about that there. Yep, church. That’s how you help the wounded.
You all know I’m not going to back down on Christian morals, but we can hold to Christian morals in the right attitude such that someone living a lifestyle they know we see as sin will not be afraid to come to us. How is that possible? Well, they weren’t afraid to come to Jesus. If they are afraid to come to us and not to Jesus, we are doing something wrong.
We need to be there because after all, no one is safe. Years ago a book was written about Jim Morrison called “No One Here Gets Out Alive.” That’s a description of us too. We don’t like to think about that, but unless Christ returns first, it’s true.
That event could happen for you even today, even if you’re in perfect health. You could die in a crime or a car accident. Remember the story of Ghost Rider where the main character’s Dad has a disease and he makes a deal with the devil to heal him? The deal is set so the Dad will live a long life. Right? No. He is healed, but the next day he dies in an accident.
It could happen at any time.
Suffering is inevitable for all of us and that’s why as Christians, we need the message of hope, but not just the message of hope, but the living of hope. We need to come alongside and help one another out as best we can. It means so much to still get a kind message from someone out of the blue offering prayers or encouragement or to get a gift in the regular mail or email from someone just because.
I remember years ago after Allie and I were married, we were in financial straits, which we are still in. I remember praying and asking God to please send a little bit to help us. Shortly after I went to the mail and a friend from California had mailed us $100 saying she had just been thinking about us.
Friends. You have no idea how much hope something like that gives. It’s a way of getting the message of “You matter to us.” That’s something we all need to hear. We all want to matter. We all want to know we’re important to someone.
There are too many people in this world who have gone the way of Mike Adams and will go that same way. It is a tragedy every single time. Please get help. Don’t be ashamed to see a therapist. For many of my own struggles, I also see a therapist. There is no shame in it. Please also reach out to the suicide prevent hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Something I enjoy doing is watching YouTube videos about gaming. One video I watched recently was something along the lines of dumb ways to die in video games. The video was humorous and out of the blue, at the end the speaker says “While we’ve all wasted our lives this way in games, there’s no need to waste your own life.” He then goes to give a positive message about the dangers of suicide and about the good in the world and to please get help if you’re struggling.
It was great to see that message. We need to hear it more often. Maybe you should tell it to someone today.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)