Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May

Though I could write a post about so many tragedies in the world today - persecuted Christians around the world, the Iraq crisis and ISIS travesties - America seems to be consumed this week on the tragic passing of Robin Williams.  His life ended on Monday from suicide.  Sad.  Tragic.  Mind boggling.

The internet is replete with articles written on the topic of suicide and severe clinical depression, which Robin suffered from.  It seems the world is battling each other on the motivations for this and how it could have been prevented.  In the midst of the loss of a precious life, quite frankly, these articles are wearing to me, which is why I've been ruminating on this post for two days.  You won't hear me argue the "whys."  What you will hear, if you continue reading past this point, is what I feel is the overarching problem and why every one of us needs to be aware for our own knowledge and to help someone else in need.  

Suicide hits everyone, just like death.  No one is immune.  Just read the stories from Pastor Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, on the loss of his son, or Dr. Frank Page, President of the Southern Baptist Convention, on the loss of his daughter, and you'll see that no one, not even the most godly, can escape the touch of how depression and addictions can impact a soul.  Lest we get too haughty and we fall, each one of us must remember that only by the grace of God have many of us not fallen in the same path as Robin or anyone who has committed suicide.  

Depression is real.  It's just as real as the air we breathe, the sun that shines, and Satan who is also very real.  If there has ever been a tactic that Satan can use to torment and control people, it's depression.  Whether you deal with clinical-level severe depression or just normal bouts of depression and sadness, I believe this is a tool of the enemy.  It is the opposite of joy and hope.  Satan is the opposite of God, hence, he would use this all-consuming depression to take anyone down he could.

I'm not here to speculate on Robin Williams' situation.  I'm here to bring hope and context to those who may be in the same tragic state.  I don't understand the level of severe depression he dealt with, but I do understand the world that is hopelessness.

I've lost multiple jobs in my lifetime (not of my choice or for performance). I've lost all of my immediate family to death. I've never been married (a lifetime desire) and, given my age, I will never bear a child.  I live every day with chronic pain due to rheumatoid arthritis.  I could go on, but these are just the highlights of hopelessness in my life.  

In contrast, when I look at my life from the opposite perspective I see things differently.  I have an amazing job that I love.  I have more friends that are family than many people count as a true friend in a lifetime.  My singleness has allowed me to pour into so many people and love on more "children" than I could have ever bore.  Medical advancements allow me to have medicine that helps me manage the pain.  

I've never contemplated suicide.  But I definitely have had many times where I could have.  I count that as the unmatched grace of God.  You see, I don't deal with clinical depression, but I do deal with chronic pain which causes chemical imbalance in my system and I am on medication to control that so I can manage both pain and emotions.  What makes me different from Robin Williams?  For me, it's the power and grace of God, along with God's wisdom in doctors to understand my body.  Is God not enough?  Absolutely He is enough.  He is enough because when I can't see beyond my circumstances, I see God.  I stop and realize the right perspective.  If God was not in my life, the medicine wouldn't be enough.  Oh it might help me physically, but my life would still be hopeless.  What I know is God is enough and His power to equip medical professionals to help me is enough.  And I know that Rick Warren and Frank Page would still say, God is faithful, because they know, and have seen, the enemy at work in their children's lives first hand.  

If you've endured to read this far, and you are without hope, reach out.  Reach out to me or to someone who can help.  I pray that this tragic event - along with every loss of life all over the world - reminds us of our immortality and our need for a Savior.  

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 
Old time is still a-flying: 
And this same flower that smiles to-day 
To-morrow will be dying."

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