Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Televised Suicide?

I can't believe it, but it has happened. Over in Switzerland, on an assisted-suicide advocacy show, an American, who had been living in the UK, committed suicide. He apparently had some disease like Lou Gherrig's, or another motor neuron disease. It's a sick thing that we live in a time that we glorify such things on national TV. It probably won't be long before that stuff starts getting done on our own networks here in America.

While I find doing the deed on TV for all to see rather disturbing, what saddens me even more is the how this man viewed himself. Just read what he had to say before he died:

"You can watch only so much of yourself drain away before you look at what is left and say 'This is an empty shell,''' he said. "Once I become completely paralyzed then I am nothing more than a living tomb that takes in nutrients through a tube in the stomach - it's painful."

I understand the feeling that he useless. I feel down if I just have the flu and can't get out of bed. But I'm deeply troubled when I read this, because I know that God had a plan for this man, even in a paralyzed state. He viewed himself as nothing more than an empty shell. I wonder how this must make God feel. God can use anyone, he can do anything. He could have used this man.

When I read the Bible, I read lots of promises. One of my favorites is Jeremiah 29:11-

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord , plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

This was written during a time that these Jews may have felt "paralyzed". They had been taken away captive to Babylon, far away from the Temple, far from their homeland. They desired to be back home, yet they would spend the next 70 years enduring the judgment for their sins. Yet, in the face of all that, God sent them a letter through the prophet Jeremiah, who was still back in Jerusalem. He told them to carry on with their lives. He told them to build houses, and plant gardens. He told them to multiply. He wanted them to keep getting married and having kids. He wanted them to be fruitful in their circumstances. And that is when God told them that He indeed had good plans for His people. They had a future, and they had a hope, even right there in a seemingly hopeless situation.

This man who killed himself on TV didn't realize this stuff. It didn't connect that even in spite of his crippling disease, God could have used him. For him, it's too late. He is gone, but I know of at least one man who was touched by his story. I have been challenged personally to live my life daily as to the Lord, who has wonderful plans for me that I can't even fathom in my mind. When I look at where God has brought me, I'm humbled. But when I think of what He still has waiting in the wings, it boggles me. One of my favorite scriptures goes like this:

"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 1 Cor. 2:9

I can't even begin to imagine what God has for me down the road. Neither can you. So let this story remind you that life is worth living, no matter what. God's plans for you are good, and He wants to pour out His good blessings and plans on you.

God bless!

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