Hope. What is hope? Or rather WHO IS HOPE?
In the past two days, my views on life itself have been stretched to their limits. Usually, when I encounter crazy life-affecting/influencing events I turn to music and write a song, but in this case I needed to write about it and get this out. Yesterday, I found out that one of my co-workers, with whom I have worked very closely for the past 3 years, decided that the world would be better off without him, so he took a gun and committed suicide. I knew little of his personal life, but from what I did know, it seemed that life had dealt him a rotten hand. However, NO ONE (including myself) saw this coming AT ALL, but about a year ago, his daughter had committed suicide, and he had never quite been the same since then. As a follower of Christ, I knew that he needed to hear the gospel and I did my best to pray for him and be a source of positivity and encouragement to him at work. He was Jewish and did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah, but that did not stop me from giving testimony of Christ’s work in my own life to him. Unknown to us, this whole time he had been holding in the hurt, sorrow, and pain from his daughter’s death and it led him down this path to tragedy.
Let me go on on quick tangent here and say that if you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, GET HELP. TALK TO SOMEONE. PRAY WITH SOMEONE ABOUT IT. SEEK THE LORD. Do not let yourself or your friend drown in a sea of hopelessness and despair. Hope has a name and it’s JESUS. He is the only one who can rescue us from our sorrow, heal our pain, and give us security and hope in life.
With this in mind, I know that my co-worker entered eternity without the Lord and my heart is broken. Was the suicide tragic and terrible? Yes, but the fact that he entered the next life without Christ is the trigger that brought me to tears. This morning, my boss read us a letter that he wrote that outlined why he took his life. The recurring theme was that he could not escape the sorrow and hopelessness that he felt and so he concluded that it would be better to end his life. As I heard this I though to myself, “this is where I would end up too if I did not have Christ in my life and I was left alone in this world like he was”. My heart was aching inside me (and still is) because I know that Christ is the remedy for that and I had never taken the chance to directly proclaim that to him. Although he seemed fine each day at work before, he was obviously NOT fine and I am learning now the importance of seeking to REALLY KNOW where people are so that I can better be a beacon of Hope to them. I am confident that because of this tragic event, the door has swung wide open for me to share my faith with my co-workers and offer them HOPE. I know that God is going to use this situation for His glory and I need to be willing to approach the guys I work with with unwavering confidence in the gospel and the Hope of that gospel, Jesus Christ. I don’t know how He is going to use me yet, but I know that He has me working there for a reason and right now I cannot think of a better reason than to share the hope that I have in Christ. HE IS HOPE. HE IS THE HEALER. HE IS OUR COMFORTER AND FRIEND. OUR EVER PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF NEED. I forget this so often myself, but it’s in times like these that I cannot forget and I’m convicted to get my heart right with the Lord and see those around me as He sees them. If you’re a fellow brother or sister in Christ, please pray for me and this situation and that the Holy Spirit will give me the words to say and the actions to show. I am praying for my co-workers as well that their hearts would be open to hear about Christ and that they would be inclined to talk with me about it because of what has happened. Nothing makes people think more about the next life than death, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that Christ’s hope and light shines brightest in the darkest and filthiest situations of life. It’s in the gutter that God’s grace is best made known.
As I write, the song “In Christ Alone” keeps coming to mind. “In Christ alone my HOPE is found…” This song is one that I had heard so many times that I had let myself become almost numb to it, but the more I listen to it and meditate on its words, the more I’m left in awe of what Christ has done and is doing in my life and in the world right now. Maybe I will write a song about this event at some point, but for now I will rest knowing that I was able to give testimony to God’s goodness in the garbage of life and that He is actively working in me to further His kingdom.
THERE IS HOPE.
HIS NAME IS JESUS.
Let this comfort and encourage you, but also challenge you to make this known to those around you.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.” Colossians 1:27