Did you know Ravi Zacharias attempted suicide as a teenager? He thought “A quiet exit will save my family from further shame.” After drinking poison and throwing up, he was found and rushed to the ER.
He shared his story with Christianity Today:
It was in that hospital that a Youth for Christ director, Fred David, brought me a Bible. Seeing that I was in no shape for talking, Fred handed the Bible to my mother and flipped to John chapter 14. “This is for Ravi.” Once he left, my mother read aloud the passage.
“Because I live, you also will live.”
Live? The word hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Mom,” I interjected, “who is that speaking?” I learned whom the words belonged to.
“Jesus,” I prayed inwardly, “if you are the One who gives life as it is meant to be, I want it. Please get me out of this hospital bed well, and I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth.”
Five days later the attending doctor came to sign my discharge papers. As he looked over the documents, he asked an odd question: “Do you really want to live?”
Live? I looked up at him. He only continued to scribble. I didn’t answer.
Then he stopped writing and turned to me. “Do you really want to live? We can make you live again by getting the poison out. But we cannot make you want to live.”
… you also will live, said Jesus.
I let the doctor’s question settle in—but I already knew the answer.
“Do you really want to live?”
If you haven’t dealt with that question one way or another I doubt your quality of life. We should always want more life from Him who gives us life to the fullest. So often we don’t take Him up on that offer paid for by His blood.
Perhaps we haven’t struggled with depression or suicidal thoughts. I have struggled with living a life so safe I was stuck in a state of spiritual death and emotional sleep. I wanted to live, but was afraid.
Church, it’s time we up our game. Suicide prevention is our fight. Let’s do our part to impart life – physically, emotionally, spiritually. I pray our communities will model biblical community, life to the fullest and love like Jesus.
May we not run from mental illness because we don’t understand.
May we not run from the LGBT community because we don’t agree.
May we not stay quiet because we fear suicide and depression.
May we speak, act, and reach out with great love.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.