The suicides of 27 former military members from a young 20 to a mature 44, both male and female, were detailed in the San Diego U-T, 2/7/16. Reading all 27 accounts surfaced several key facts, not necessarily in order of importance.
One, the lack of ongoing, hope-giving support groups from outside the family. The efforts made lacked the personal, “I care for you” quality needed for those in great distress.
Two, the existence of personal depression over shorter or longer time periods. That condition was sometimes aggravated by marital problems, battle experiences and memories, unresolved work issues, untimely and inefficient medical and psychiatric veterans administration oversight.
Three, in many of the 27, either persistent drug or alcohol use, sometimes in tandem, sometimes prior to or often up to the suicide.
Four, a wide choice of suicides. One man lay down on a freeway. When cars stopped and people wanted to help, he waved them off. A truck couldn’t stop.
Five, a refusal to admit one had a problem with depression, though war experiences left a large number with PTSD.
Six, marital or boy-friend, girl-friend fights occurred prior to the suicide. Were these cause and effect reasons why the deaths occurred or merely coincidental?
Seven, and glaringly obvious, no mention of God, Christ or the church was considered helpful or needed. One person refused to consider any “religion-based” rehabilitation program. U-T, 2/15/16
Evaluations: One, it’s hard to understand why so many mortals reject help from God and seek it instead from drink, drugs, sexual liaisons and, even, secular self-help programs. At our extremity God has his opportunity. While the human reaction to misery is instinctively anti-God—why did he let this happen—sober reflection suggests his ability and desire to help. Every circumstance in life may shout that God doesn’t care. But every scriptural teachings says that God DOES. We must trust God’s word, not our experience or feeling. Our emotions will fail us a thousand times. Trust what will never fail, hard as it may be.
Two, to seek and find help in God when crises arise, we need at least a marginal knowledge of God’s word. Any of us, facing any circumstances without a knowledge of the Bible, is an infant in an adult world; naked in Antarctic winter cold or Sahara desert heat; illiterate before Einstein-equations. We can never cause ourselves more harm than to be knowledgeable of the arts and sciences and ignorant of God’s word. We always increase our fortitude and expertise against life’s tantrums by a knowledge of the Bible that educates us in his reality and love, not in our disability and incompetence.