After a local celebrity in our small community committed suicide, I was concerned for how others, especially young people, would relate to suicide as a viable option for handling hopelessness. Ty Pozzobon was a world-renowned bull rider, famous around the rodeo circuits of North America. A number of concussions contributed to his depression and the hopelessness that led to suicide.
Since I have been around plenty of depression in my lifetime, and have had a few occasions where people I knew were considering suicide as an option, and have been dealing with our son's brain injury since 2002, I not only empathize with the painful and difficult struggles of life, but have all the more experience in knowing Jesus Christ as the greatest hope in every kind of situation.
I wrote the following as a letter to the editor to our local paper, the Merritt Herald (in a shorter version), but they wouldn't print it, so I thought it would make a good blog post for anyone who may struggle with hopelessness and suicidal thoughts, or who may be concerned for a family member or friend with such struggles. There is hope much greater than most people realize. I would like to increase that number.
Hope When Hopelessness Takes Its Toll
I’m not writing this because I knew Ty Pozzobon personally, but because of the young people who suddenly popped into my head when I heard of his suicide. When a local celebrity gives up hope to the point of ending it all, all I can think of is whether there are others in our community who would take this as the encouragement they need to do the same.
No matter the reason that people fall into the suicidal mindset of hopelessness, the need is the same for us all: that someone outside ourselves can give us hope. Even when the suicidal tunnel vision threatens, and people are convinced that no one would ever understand, there is one person who understands even better than ourselves, and can always do something about how we’re doing.
Whether the reason for suicidal thoughts is that we haven’t achieved what was promised, or that achieving our wildest dreams hasn’t satisfied, or physical injuries are causing us problems we hadn’t counted on, or depression seems like the biggest giant we have ever encountered, or some form of bullying has consumed us with fear, or we just don’t measure up in one of the millions of ways the world measures such things, the fact remains that there is hope bigger than any of the above.
Our deepest heart-issue is to know God. It’s why we feel lonely even in a room full of friends; it’s why we are always missing something even when life seems as good as it gets; it’s why success and failure always lead us to the same place of knowing there is something more and we still haven’t found it. Until we have God, our hearts are missing the biggest and best relationship we could ever experience.
When Jesus, God’s Son, gave the ultimate description of life, he stated it like this: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” He then laid down his life for people like us so that the very worst of obstacles between us and God could be removed, and we could live in love-relationship with God forever.
To get us back to the relationship with God we were designed to experience, Jesus presents this invitation: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
What happens when people come to Jesus is that their deepest longing for life, and love, and joy, is now met by knowing God. It is for that reason that I quote God’s Book one more time to show what is offered to us all: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
I encourage everyone in the Nicola Valley (and beyond), ask God to help you find someone who truly loves and follows the Lord Jesus Christ so you can learn of this hope that “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”. He has people in this community (and all around the world) who would love to be part of his answer to your prayer.
© 2017 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, V1K 1B8 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.)