This morning I learned that last night a couple that I know heard the worst news that a parent can possibly hear. Their son took his own life. It is terrible enough to lose someone you love whether through illness, accident or even by the hand of another. All of these things are devastating but the added pain and grief that accompanies the knowledge that it was by their own hand is ... well... there are no adequate words to say.
I have not experienced suicide within my own family therefore I have wrestled all day with writing this blog. Who am I to tackle such a topic and yet I feel that I must for in addition to the grief that a Christian feels when a loved one takes their own life is the conviction that the individual is lost forever. The same thing occurs when there is a sudden death, whether by accident or illness and they do not have the assurance that their loved one came to know Christ.
This blog is for you.
I want to start out by saying that I am not a Universalist. As much as I wish it were not so, I believe Jesus when He said that there will be those who utterly reject Him and in fact, hate Him. That being said, I also believe that God reaches out to us relentlessly, longing for us to step from death into life in Him. I also believe that He hears and responds to the faintest of cries.
I have heard it said before that the non-believer did not have enough time to repent. Perhaps not according to us but we forget that we are not talking about us, we are talking about God. Exactly how much "time" do we think the omnipotent, omnipresent Creator of Time itself requires? Since when is God limited by natural boundaries?
I do not know what happens at the exact moment of death but I know that God does. I also know that I am not going to have the audacity to limit Him and say that it is impossible for God to rescue someone spiritually even as they take their dying breath.
What I do know is that I adamantly believe that God hears the cry of every heart, even if it is not uttered aloud. That belief was confirmed when I lay helpless one night due to a bleeding brain. I could not see, I could not talk and in fact, as strange as it might seem, I could not even form words in my mind or think very well. I had a sense that perhaps I should pray but I didn't know how to open my mouth to speak. I attempted to gather my thoughts together but the words fell apart and dropped into the nothingness. They simply weren't there. I was utterly alone and unreachable.
Suddenly out of nowhere I became aware that God had "ripped aside a curtain" and stepped down to where I was. Though I couldn't reach Him, He could reach me and that is exactly what He did. I was not "alone" for God was where He had always been; He was right beside me.
We do not know all of the answers but God does. We may think that something is impossible but with God, all things are impossible and I believe He can set the captive free, even on the threshold of death.