Giving up might be easy. Do you have the courage to keep going? It does take courage to keep walking through your trials, or turn back and seek help.
Clearly, many do give up, the suicide statistics in Australia alone are food for thought.
Is giving up really taking over our world?
If so… how can we counter this negative trend?
Make your own trend, but look to the past as well as the future.
Some thought I should just give in gracefully and die rather than go on oxygen. Well, it might have saved a tiny bit of money for the government but I believe I still have something to give.
My book ‘Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube’ would never have been written, and even although not released yet, it has led to some interesting conversations. It is my hope that not only does it help people who are prescribed home oxygen, but also those who care for them. It might surprise you to discover the changes and challenges someone on oxygen has to make. Although, I have to admit, it is quite amusing at times… especially when tangled in the oxygen tube.
Then the fourth novella in the companion series to the Apostle John Series books would not be published. (Getting close.)
So, what does looking back achieve?
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Romans 15:4 ESV
Giving up was not the way these people handled adversity
Joseph, favorite son of his father Jacob had many opportunities to give up. His half-brothers’ jealousy escalated to such a degree they put him in a pit and were going to kill him.
What was going through Joseph’s mind?
Instead, Joseph was sold to spice merchants on their way to Egypt. There the spice merchants sold him as a slave. (Read the story in Genesis 37:12-35)
Moses could have thrown up his hands in defeat many times, as he led the often-rebellious children of Israel through the wilderness.
I look at the lives of the prophets, and sigh at what they went through… without giving up.
Jumping forward in time…
Did the Apostles think of giving up?
History says all but one were martyred, and the Apostle Paul mentions his many trials.
For those of us who have Christian faith, where would our faith be without the record they left us.
When researching for the Apostle John Series I was awed at what the early Christians endured. Some went to the arena; others were tortured, enslaved, or burnt as torches for Nero’s parties.
In many cases Christians could have escaped persecution by the simple act of taking a pinch of incense, tossing it the fire at an statue of Caesar, and saying, ‘Caesar is Lord.’ That would have broken the first commandment, and most chose to suffer the penalty.
We have not been called to such challenges, but we have, and do, experience other overwhelming difficulties at times.
Back to the suicide figures
More people than would like to admit have, at some point in their lives contemplated suicide. From the figures in Australia alone, many have attempted to kill themselves.
Do we shrug and sigh, then continue on, or do we wonder what we could have done if someone we know succeeds in killing themselves?
It is a two-way street. The person desperate enough to want to give up needs to find the courage to talk about it. Easier said than done.
No one to trust.
There are crisis lines where a stranger will listen. This might be a solution for those wanting to give up.
One such organization says on its webpage, “Professionally trained counsellors have specialist skills in working with suicide-related issues and they can help you to work through the pain and distress you may be feeling.”
What can we do?
If we see signs of someone withdrawing, instead of ignoring it, we can ask, “Would you like to talk about what you are feeling?”
If that seems too threatening, how about “You seem to be having a difficult time, is there anything I can do to help?”
We need to be prepared to listen. We need to be non-judgmental. A person on the point of giving up on life sees life differently to your viewpoint. Allow them their viewpoint before offering alternative views.
Sadly, the times we live in are not conducive to quietly walking beside someone in distress. Our lives are so busy, and self-concerned we might not notice. We might be struggling ourselves, but guess what, helping someone else can help you see your own problems in a different light.
Here, some flowers for you… pass them on.
Susan Preston was a trained Mental Health Nursing sister and worked at an outpatient community clinic. She has a great deal of experience in counselling and caring for people with mental health issues. (Some of this knowledge made its way into the books she has written.)