Sometimes when we are in the middle of our darkest night, the Lord puts a candle in the window and gives us renewed hope. I got a letter from my son yesterday and I knew when I read it that the Lord had put a candle in our window. I have been literally worried sick about my son for the past couple of weeks because his wife told me he had mentioned wanting to give up several times. My dad suffered from depression, which was aggravated by alcoholism, and ultimately it caused him to commit suicide. One of the legacies of my dad’s suicide, for me, is that I have this fear that it could happen again to another loved one. So, when my son’s wife told me that he wanted to give up, I was terrified for him, and felt powerless to help him. On Wednesday I decided to write him a letter and prayed that the Lord would guide my thoughts, give me the right words to write, and lead me to the right scripture. I decided to write to him about suffering, and looked for scriptures about how we all suffer sometimes. The Lord led me to 2 verses:
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. Matthew 26:39
And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:33-35
I wrote to my son about how much Jesus suffered, and that because of that, He understands our suffering, loves us, and wants to help. I wrote about how in this life we will suffer sometimes, and that we need to talk to the Lord about ALL of our feelings, not just the happy positive feelings.
Here is the part that gave me hope. I got a letter from my son yesterday, and part of it was painful to read because he wrote about being severely depressed. In fact he was so desolate on Wednesday of last week that he prayed that the Lord would let him die. He said in the middle of his suffering on Wednesday there were two scriptures stuck in his head, and he just couldn’t stop thinking about them. He slept for almost two days straight and was angry when he woke up because he was still alive. Each time he would wake up, those two verses would pop into his mind. So, on the third day (that was my “awe” moment for the week), he got my letter. When he read the first page he saw that I had written the same two scriptures that he couldn’t seem to get out of his head. Those very same verses were the verses that the Lord had led me to choose when I sat down and wrote my letter to him on Wednesday, the same day that he had asked God to let him die. He told me that when he received my letter and read those same two scriptures, he knew that the Lord was telling him it’s okay to lay our suffering at His feet, and that He would help him through. My son was given the gift of hope. The fact that the Lord put the same two scriptures on my heart and my son’s heart at the same time without either of us knowing it amazes me.
I know we’re not out of the woods. I know my son will have to adjust to his situation, and that there will be more suffering along the way. But I also know that the Lord will be right there with him through it all. I needed to be reminded of that, and so did my son. Thank you, Lord, for your amazing grace.