We stand fearless at the cliff-edge . . . Psalm 46:1a
Ever hear a voice speak to you while in a solitary moment? Startled you wheel around expecting to be surprised by someone, but you are alone. It’s enough to make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention.
I’ve heard such a voice. It happened about a year after my son lost his battle with depression and ended his pain. This story appears in a book I have shared from previously, Shattered By Suicide. I share it again in the hope that it may provide encouragement in some way. Perhaps my experience will remind you of one of your own.
“It was hard those first few months after our son’s death, to even think of a reason to leave the house. I didn’t want to go anywhere, but I didn’t want to stay at home either. I felt myself falling, falling into nothingness . . . with no way to get my bearings . . . and I didn’t care.
“After some time had passed, and we had settled into our sorrow a bit, we felt the need to get away and experience a different environment. Getting our exercise walking the hills and valleys at our vacation destination did us both good. As my eyes gazed upward into the rugged ridges framed by deep blue sky, I felt God’s awesome presence in a way I had not felt it in a long time. I began to relax, not realizing how stressed I had become following my son’s death. In the stillness of that beautiful place . . . in the quieting of my mind . . . perhaps I was ready to listen . . . in case He spoke to my barren soul.
“One early morning I decided to take a walk alone, venturing a little higher than usual. I had to lean in for balance and dig my toes in the loose gravel to keep my footing on the steep climb. I paused to catch my breath, sucking in deep draughts of crisp, clean air. The woods were thick and hard for my eyes to penetrate, but in them were sure to be eyes looking back at me . . . wild ones. This was God’s country where wild animals roamed freely in their habitat. I was very much aware that I was stepping into their domain. Being alone, I thought I should turn around and head down the trail.
“Traversing down the hill was easier, but still I had to proceed cautiously, or I could lose my footing in the shifting gravel under my feet. Rounding the bend, I peered over the edge of a ridge, and my tummy did a flip-flop. I did not realize how far up I had climbed. And just at that moment, I heard a voice speak clearly in my head, “Go ahead, jump! You can end your misery right now and join him. No one will know . . . and they won’t find your body for days. Do it!” The voice was emphatic and crystal clear.
“Stunned I sucked in my breath and held it for a few seconds, my heart pounding wildly in my chest. My mind whirled as I tried to comprehend what I had just heard. Certainly God wouldn’t say such a thing. It had to be . . . Satan! Yes! It must have been Satan goading me to end my life and stop the pain . . . just like he goaded my son!
“When I felt strength return to my shaky legs, I hurried back down to my husband and safety. That was a strong directive. I realized, then and there, that the enemy would never leave me alone. He had taken my child, but he wasn’t satisfied. He would keep pressuring me to follow my son’s actions, as other grievers have done.
“If we believe that God exists, then we can talk to Him like we talk to a friend. We can avail ourselves of His comfort and counsel. And when we feel Satan pushing us to the edge of life, we can tell him to ‘beat it’ just like Jesus did.”
“Jesus’ refusal was curt: ‘Beat it, Satan!'” Matthew 4:10
God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. Psalm 46:1-3
Story shared from the book, Shattered By Suicide: My Conversations With God After the Tragic Death of My Son, by Gracie Thompson
Bible verses selected from The Message Bible (MSG)