Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. (Psalm 68:20)
In the years since my suicide attempt I’ve had a great deal of time to reflect on its meaning and the purpose of my life then and now. At times, I’ve described it as a one-time fluke. I had never before nor have I since been seriously suicidal. But the attempt was more than a fluke. It was an attack.
It was a spiritual attack from an enemy who wants nothing more than to get God’s children to give up. It was an attack for which I was ill-prepared despite decades of study and devotion. It was an attack I pray never comes again though I know it could. I know I need to be devotionally disciplined on a daily basis in case I am attacked again.
The most important part of the story of my suicide attempt is not what happened before I took the pills, but afterward. I managed to escape death thanks to God, the God of my salvation.
This is the part of the story I need to always remember and tell others. I faced death and, by the grace of God, have lived to tell about it.
Even as I write this, I realize that not everyone is rescued, at least in this life. I think of Matthew Warren who, only a week before the time of this writing, took his own life. I think of something his father Rick said – even on that day Matthew was playing family games and having a good time.
It is true that some people with mental illnesses don’t survive deadly attacks. I can’t make sense of it, but I do believe God is still our salvation, that God has a saving purpose for all His children. Mental illness is a mystery we may never solve, not a puzzle we can piece together.
The best we can do is look to the Lord – who is our rock and our salvation, our best and only hope – in this life and beyond. In Jesus Christ, God brings us back from the grave. We escape the death that is the sure sentence of our sin to enjoy life with Christ and with all God’s children forever.