TODAY’S PAIN CAN BE TOMORROW’S GAIN

“You raise me up to more than I can be.” -Josh Groban

I vividly remember the first time I had to deal with a person who attempted suicide. The year was 1964. The place was the University of Idaho. 

One of my 110 McConnell Hall dormitory students chose to end his life. He was not successful.

Shaken by the experience, it was my responsibility and duty to visit him in the hospital. I had no tools in my life skills toolbox to help this student. 

This was a time in my life where “how to” was far more important than “want to.” I desperately wanted to help the student but my “know how” was at level zero.

Sitting next to his hospital bed I asked this question, “Why did you try to kill yourself?”

This 19-year-old boy had come a long way from his Chicago home. I listened to him tell me he was a loser. He said, “I have no friends; I am not handsome; people don’t like me. I have no reason to live.”

I tried to convince him he had lots to live for but in my heart, I knew he had correctly diagnosed his condition quite accurately.

I never saw this young man again. He went home to Chicago. 

Recently a parent called. Her son had tried to take his life. I agreed to mentor this 18-year-old boy.

His story was similar to the Chicago story. There is a common thread in all suicide attempts.   

The difference between the two stories is there are effective tools in my life skills tool box to bring healing to the human condition.

There are no easy fixes when the human condition breaks down, whether it be mental, physical or spiritual. 

Mentoring one in deep pain requires patience, kindness, understanding, and willing a level of trust. Tough love is often necessary if and when trust is established.

The single best tool in my life skills tool box is the grace, mercy, and love of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Josh Groban sings, “You raise me up to more than I can be,” and this is the single best message I can give anyone. 

This is the message the Chicago boy needed to hear. I couldn’t give it to him because I had not experienced becoming a new person in Christ.

With supreme confidence, I can mentor anyone offering these five foundations to raise up your life.

  1. God is who He says He is.
  2. God does what He says he will do
  3. I am who God says I am.
  4. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  5. God’s word is alive and active in me.

Take these five foundations and apply them to the Chicago boy story and it’s very clear that I could offer this young man hope for his future because each reason he gave to take his life was solved in one of these five foundations.

Take a few minutes to enjoy Josh Groban’s, You Raise Me Up. It’s worth your time because He truly will raise you up.

 

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