When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:4, NASB
Many, many years ago, I passed through the darkest period of my life. It was a time in which the end of a bad relationship left me without the will to live.
I remember feeling that the pain was so unbearable that I wanted to crawl out of my own skin to escape it. I remember the desperate feeling of hopelessness. I recall the tears, the heart-rending agony, the prayers that did not seem to escape my dorm room walls. Most of all, I remember equating existence with unspeakable pain.
I remember wishing to die.
Its such an unimaginable thought. Wishing for death? If you sit at an outdoor booth in Manhattan, you’ll see all varieties of people rushing by. They’re all trying to live as long as they can. They see doctors. They exercise. They eat celery. Even those who don’t would still take most any action if their lives depended on it.
And yet there I was, in a place I pray very few people go. Its so strange when you come to that precipice. I remember with high-definition clarity that overcast day when I crossed the street from my dorm room to the Village Market, almost praying to be struck by a car. A dark moment in the middle of the night spent staring at a knife set in the middle of a hotel kitchen. My face was drenched with tears by the time I was close enough to touch them. I cried because I felt God’s longing for me to take a look at where I’d gotten myself.
Why am I saying this? Because the other day, I recalled those moments and marveled. My despair was so complete. My life seemed so empty, devoid of love and hope. It all seemed so horrific that I actually thought it would be preferable to give up living.
I don’t know how Jesus saved me from that experience. But He did.
He saved me. I didn’t feel a lightning bolt of relief. I didn’t heal quickly. But now, looking back, I can joyfully say, I KNOW my Redeemer lives. He gave me the oil of joy for sadness. He gave me beauty for ashes. In all my life, I have never known such love and happiness. Once upon a time, I lost myself. My life felt completely hopeless. But now, I have found my life in Jesus Christ. I’ve never felt more complete.
Why do I share this? I share it for you. I don’t know what you’re going through. But if you feel like you’re all out of hope, I’ve been there. I’ve brooded in misery with headphones in my ears, listening to hard rock songs about suicide; I’ve sung the words as if they were written just for me.
“Would you even care if I die bleeding? Would it be wrong, would it be right, if I took my life tonight? Chances are that I might. Mutilation out of sight, and I’m contemplating suicide. Cuz I’m losing my sight, losing my mind, wish somebody would tell me I’m fine… “
And then the climax of the song would come, and he would scream: “I can’t go on living this way!”
If that’s how you feel, the next word I’m going to write can change your life forever.
But. But not just any but. But Jesus.
There may not appear to be hope in your life. You might be feeling like life has pushed you into a dark alleyway corner with a knife pushed up against your throat. There may not be light at the end of the tunnel.
But there is Jesus.
Satan might say, “You can’t go on living this way,” but the Bible says,
“But anyone still alive has hope…” Ecclesiastes 9:4, NCV
And so, if you’re still alive, no matter how hopeless you feel, the almighty God of the universe says you have hope.
A doctor can heal your body. Medicine can numb your pain. Drugs can get you out of your head so you can ignore the desolation in your heart. But only Jesus can heal you on the inside. When you’ve tried it all and you think your only option is death, God invites you to choose life. You can do that simply by choosing Him.
If you don’t know how He can possibly heal you, it doesn’t matter. You may not know how Aleve makes your headache go away, but that does not for a moment stop it from working, does it? The GOOD NEWS is that your lack of knowledge is incapable of making Him incapable of saving you.
Jesus, I don’t know how you saved me. But You did. And for that, my life, my love, and my adoration will always belong to You.