I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death. (Psalm 118:17-18)
As a survivor of a suicide attempt, I find myself feeling a strange blend of both shame and gratitude. I regret having attempted it in the first place, but I am grateful I failed. I also feel a sense of obligation to “recount the deeds of the LORD” in rescuing me from certain destruction. God did not give me over to death even when death was my prime pursuit.
The LORD’s discipline can seem severe, but it is nothing when compared to our disobedience. God’s discipline causes healing pain; our disobedience produces terminal torture. Our self-inflicted punishment leads us to spiritual death while the punishment of the LORD ushers in new life.
In my history with bipolar, there have been self-destructive acts I’ve committed, many risks I’ve taken that could have been catastrophic. Driving recklessly is one particular example. I’ve been in many accidents that could have been much worse, had it not been for God’s protection. I like to say (both about my driving and about my life), “I’m a horrible driver, but I know Where to crash.”