Two night’s ago, God stepped in (IN A HUGE WAY) and made a connection YEARS in the making. These are the kinds of moments I try to explain to others about using your past pain to help others. Only this was WAY BIGGER!
A family pet with an upset stomach, resulted in a late night trip to the grocery store for someone very near and dear to my heart.
He ran in, made his purchase and ran back out…eager to get back home and back to bed. But….God had other plans.
As he stopped at the red light, he watched a young woman run across the street and on to the overpass bridge. What seemed odd soon turned to terrifying as she quickly moved over the protective barrier from the pedestrian sidewalk and to a possible long leap onto the heavy interstate traffic below.
He quickly jumped out of his car and in a matter of seconds he had a hold of her. At this time of the night, he was one of the few people out and he was hoping that someone…anyone…was calling the police because there was no way he could risk letting go.
Words spoken were not remembered. In the warm night, she was shaking with tears streaming down her face.
What mattered was the connection. The streetlights were there for a reason bigger than just guiding traffic that night. Because for just a few moments she was given a glimpse into his eyes. His eyes shed light at an accumulation of a lifetime of struggles, joys, sadness and severe depression all within his eyes. The eyes can give away so much, they are a view into a person’s soul. She looked into his soul and his eyes told her that he had been there too. Not this exact spot on a bridge late at night but that he had once been in this same dark hole full of no purpose, tragic despair and no reason for going on.
His eyes not only told her that he had been there once before but it gave her a slight glimpse of HOPE. Hope that things, though not always easy, WILL get better and that life is worth hanging around for, even with all of its ups and downs. She was now the one holding on to him. Squeezing his hands so tightly, he could feel her nails. That tiny ray of hope helped her back over the wall. Soon strangers gathered around and began to pray over her as the police finally arrived.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 15: 4-6
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~ Romans 15: 13
He is the GOD of HOPE.
His life was forever changed.
This was no random event. This was an appointment made only by our Father, Christ Jesus. An appointment made many years earlier.
Let’s go back five years.
Five years ago he reached his lowest, deepest, darkest hour after decades of sadness and depression. He was ready to leave this world. He felt the world was a better place without him in it.
I sat at his kitchen table and cried with him. I spoke to him of God’s love for him, His forgiveness and His Grace. That each and every one of us has a purpose in this life. Our Lord has set every one of us on this earth for a very special reason. Our life is His…and it is not for us to take.
He told me he had no purpose. And I told him that one day, someone will need HIS past pain and experience to get thru THEIR darkest hour. He made a promise to me that night around his kitchen table that he would not take his life. That he would search for hope in the darkness and would use that to fight through the pain. It was never easy but he did it.
God’s timing is not always understood by us until after the fact but it is ALWAYS perfect. His timing is difficult for us to comprehend. We want answers now and we want to know why. We want Him to remove the pain and torment. He is the easiest one to blame when things go wrong in our lives.
He gave this world the gift of free will. We are all free to choose. The enemy uses this to his greatest advantage. The enemy banks on the idea that when things go wrong, someone hurts you, you lose someone or if you are suddenly facing the consequences of your own choices and actions…that you will blame God. Thus distancing yourself from Him even more. This gives the enemy an enormous amount of pleasure. He can increase your sadness, anger, pain and ultimately depression.
But our God takes our blame, He takes our anger and He waits. He waits because He knows what our future holds. It’s not always about us….but about something much, much bigger than us. Our pain, shame, sadness….it’s all deeply personal. It’s hard to imagine that He can use our personal experiences to help another….but He does and in doing so, it helps us heal as well.
Now….had he (who was on the brink of suicide) not searched for hope and fought through his pain and sadness, not only would he have missed out on an amazing life over the past five years…..but this woman’s life would have ended. The drivers of the car or cars that would have ultimately struck her would be forever changed in the worst possible way. Her family would have suffered for years with the anger, torment and pain known only by those left behind when a loved one commits suicide.
There truly is power in His name.