Wednesday morning I read the news that Jarrid Wilson, Pastor and advocate, took his own life. He is one in a recent string of Pastor’s being overwhelmed and ending it all.
As I read I wept.
I wept for his church and friends. I wept for his parents, wife, and kids.
But mostly I wept for all the other Pastors out there that feel like Jarrid.
Jeremiah 9 reads
“I wish my head were a well of water
and my eyes fountain of tears
So I could weep day and night
for casualties among my dear, dear people.”
Pastors are my people. As Pastor Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Jarrid’s church soberly points out,
“At the end of the day, pastors are just people who need to reach out to God for His help and strength, each and every day,”
I weep for them because I know what it is like. In fact, I have never spoken about it publically or privately, with the exception of my wife. For nearly two years, with increasing regularity, waves of seemingly insurmountable hopelessness overwhelm me. It takes everything within not to stay there. There are moments I fear I will.
More and more I’m finding my peers, whether only in waves or as a life long struggle, feel much the same.
We suffer in silence.
After all, it’s a nice sentiment that we should be able to be open. What if we were though? Would others still allow us to carry their burdens with them, as pastors do, or would they decide not to contribute to the weight and bear it on their own?
Would it compromise the receptivity to our message that Jesus has come to bring us the fullness of life, hope, and love that surpasses all the anguish?
How does someone like me, an author of a book all about finding our identity in Christ, admit this type of feeling without the vital message I believe God has given me losing credibility?
However, we must.
We must talk about it. Despite the consequences (which I believe should only be good) we must talk about it.
We can pontificate the reasons why this feeling is so prevalent, and while important, in the long term we must yield to something greater. Pastors and all people of faith need to band together and hold each other up.
Just because we know hopes name, it does mean it’s always on our lips. There are times when the worries of life push it away.
Health, family, the past, our vices, work. I’ve been there, and I know how easy it is to let it push hope aside.
This is exactly why we must stick together. We must hold each other up. It is imperative that we speak our pain and help each other carry it. We must know we are not alone and that we are not wrong.
This world does leave us wanting, hollow, and barren. It is only Christ who gives life, hope, and liberty, but that doesn’t mean we will not be overcome. After all, many of the Bibles most prominent characters felt this way.
Moses, David, and Jonah are three of the many who asked God to take their life. Not to mention Samson who did take his life. Yet every single is listed in Hebrews 11 in what we call the Hall of faith. They are men of which it is said, “…whose weakness was turned to strength…” (Heb 11:34).
As we stand together helping each other stand with God, we can have faith that our weakness will be turned to strength. How? When? That’s the mystery, but that doesn’t negate the truth. What it means is that we must stand with each other because if the Scriptures tell us anything, it is that those who struggle are not abandoned by God, but are primed for God to use.
Brothers and sisters who are fighting for the kingdom of love–the kingdom of God–who are also fighting for their lives, you are not alone.
When we weep, let us weep together.Tweet