The scariest words from the Bible would be having Jesus tell me, I don’t know you.
Sometimes though, these words are right up there –
Jn 17:15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.
Especially when they come in answer to the question – Lord, can I go home now?
Sometimes, like now, going Home seems so appealing.
When I realize that Jesus’ prayer isn’t to protect my live – a life doesn’t seem worth living –
is when it really truly hits that He means to protect my soul.
But sometimes it feels like that’s not happening either.
I feel like I’m failing.
Like I’m losing the battle.
I don’t feel the protection for my soul.
Having tried before to end my life on my terms and on my schedule – it also feels like He won’t let me go home either.
I have to stay here.
I’m stuck here.
But a couple days ago, a new thought hit me.
What if I succeed, and find out that home isn’t what I expected?
What if the image at the top of this post wouldn’t be my home?
What if my home would be Hell – not Heaven?
I used to be Catholic – so that’s a natural assumption, in a way.
But having run away from the Catholic Church, the only unpardonable sin now is against the Holy Spirit.
But then – what if suicide is in effect murdering the Holy Spirit – or at least that part within me?
Is that grounds for home becoming Hell?
According to the Mormon Church – they believe that God takes into account the circumstances of the suicide.
Maybe it’s forgivable. Maybe not.
How’s that for ‘no comfort’?
You don’t find out until it’s too late.
But then, I’m not Mormon either.
So it doesn’t really matter what they believe.
So much for the idea of ending it having much chance of turning out well.
It comes back – once again – to having to face what I claim to believe – and asking myself if I really do believe.
If I do believe – then I have to believe –
Jer 29:10 This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Yes – I know – some will claim that this was only for the people of that time. But I don’t believe that. To believe that takes away so much of the prophetic word from the Old Testament. That leaves us with pretty much nothing. That’s something I cannot believe.
So I have to believe that no matter how long it takes – although it’s not going to be 70 years, unless I set some kind of modern day record – there will be hope for a better future.
But there’s the rub.
What if – just as Jesus is praying, not for my life but for my soul,
this prophecy is also not for my life but for my soul?
What if this life never gets better?
Is that reason to just call it quits and take whatever comes?
I have to believe that the answer to that question is – no.
Otherwise, I’d be calling God a liar when He says 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.
What if captivity is life here on earth?
What if going Home (to Heaven) is bringing me back from captivity?
It feels so much like that’s the case.
Some would say, “who wants a God like that?”
I’d say, “Me”.
Because He could just as well have left me in captivity.
He could have let me succeed when I’d tried to end it before.
But He didn’t.
I have to believe that ultimately, He will be found by me, and He will bring me back.
Anything else is even more pointless than ending life on my terms.
It’s like when Peter said, in Matthew 19:27 –
“We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”
No – I haven’t left everything like the disciples did.
But – I have given up much and turned from so much of “normal” life – what else would I do?
I have to believe.
What else is there for me?
image from emergingyouth.com