WHEN HOPE SEEMS LOST
We as pastors and pastor’s wives spend our lives praying, teaching, and encouraging others. It’s what we do, what we’re called to do. Most days it feels so good to know that God has anointed us to do His will. We cry with the broken and even with the rejoicing (if you are a woman you know what I’m talking about). We sit with those who want more of the knowledge of His word. We break down the verses and expound on each word from the Bible. We pray for family members of our church congregates. We are pastors, that’s what we do, that’s what God anoints us to do. But it’s just a small part of our calling.
This past weekend we received news that another pastor, not a friend but an acquaintance of ours, one that I had only met once but liked, had committed suicide. I have been searching for answers as to HOW and WHY since I heard the news.
How could a man of God do this? How could satan get to someone so full of the Word of God, so anointed (as I have heard, but never heard him myself), so surrounded by other christians? How could God not override the voice of the enemy in this situation? How could such an awesome person, someone who had touched so many lives, who had taught and preached and demonstrated the power of the Word do this? How could he be so selfish?
Why did he do this? Why put his family through this? Why not talk to someone? Why couldn’t he just “give it to God”? Why now, Easter weekend?
Why did no-one know the pain he was going through? Did he not have friends? Why doesn’t our congregations, our friends, family, and peers know that we’re hurting too? Was there no one there for him? No one he could talk to? No one that would listen? He had no doubt listened to hundreds, probably thousands. Could no one sit with him and put an arm around him and let him cry? Talk? Confess how he was feeling, what he was going through?
He was after all, human! He had bad days as well as good ones. He felt defeated apparently just as you have felt. He needed a punch in the arm with a “It’s ok friend, I’m here for you”. A hug around the neck saying I appreciate you and all you do. What about this one? “If you ever need to talk, I can be a good listener”. Or how about just being a friend. Most Pastor’s do not have what they consider a friend, not a close, talk to, tell them how I feel kinda friends. They have the Sunday “friend”. The if I need you I’ll call you pastor but don’t expect to ‘hang” out with ya, kind of friends.
What could possibly have made this God fearing, faith preaching, devil casting out, man of God do such a thing?
The pain he must have been dealing with. The hurt, the loneliness. I’m so broken for his family. I want to cry for him, for the hurt he must have been going through. Such a man of God but still just a man.
The pressures of this position can at times be overwhelming. I mean after all, pastor’s are to be perfect! Right? They can’t have a bad day. They can’t have an opinion that’s not “godly”. They can’t stumble or fall. They’re are too many fingers and tongues going when someone has a bad day. Someone always waiting around the corner to “be there” for your congregation when you mess up.
I’m so sorry for his family. I’m so sorry that no one had enough discernment to know he needed help. That maybe the smile was a mask. That he needed a break or some indication that he was successful. That he did matter.
Too many questions. My heart goes out to the family. To his congregation.
I want to encourage you, whoever you are reading this. Know that pastor’s are just human beings, called men and women of God, but human just the same. They have broken hearts but can’t share that with anyone. They get lonely, scared, disappointed, lose hope just like you. But who do they talk to? Most cases no one. Some couples talk but there are still things that they keep to themselves. Only God knows.
Be an encourager not just a taker. Pray for your pastor’s and their families, they’re praying for you and yours.