By Tina Olesen
My heart broke over the children in Attawapiskat who wanted to die rather than continue to live in the terrible conditions in their community. It is so unnatural for children to want to die. Everything about a child speaks life!
What is happening in our culture that death is becoming increasingly attractive, even to the young? Death seems to them a better option than continuing to live in despair.
Proponents of assisted suicide, euthanasia, and abortion use similar logic – death is seen as preferable to suffering.
Death is often merely seen as a sort of “power outage” – fade to black. No more pain, no more suffering, nothing. However, there is no evidence for that fantasy idea of death; and for most people there is much uncertainty about what will happen to them when they die.
Our culture has a love-hate relationship with death. People want it when they think it means the elimination of suffering, but because they don’t really know for sure what happens after they die, they fear it.
That’s why the rich are arranging for their dead bodies to be frozen so that they can be thawed out in the hope of a cure being discovered in the future. Some are even going so far as trying to find ways to live forever by having their human parts replaced with robotic ones. They are scared to death of death.
It’s really all about control. They’d like to be in charge of when their lives end. They want to control how much suffering they experience.
This position assumes that we know what is best for ourselves. But how many of us have ever come to a point of despair in our lives, when we literally thought we’d be better off dead, because we weren’t able to see that relief was just around the corner? Would we now think, looking back, that we should have taken our lives at that point?
Despair and hopelessness can make suicide seem attractive, but it’s only a lie of the enemy of our souls.
What suicidal children need, and what we all need, is hope. And that hope has to be anchored in Someone who loves us, who died for us, and who holds our future in His hands.
George Müller picked up over 10,000 unwanted orphans off the streets of Bristol in the 1800s and lovingly fed, housed, clothed, and educated them, all with money provided in direct answer to prayer. He and his wife took no salary for themselves, and gave away anything that was over and above their basic needs.
Nowadays many of those orphans would probably never have been born in the first place, but rather aborted so they wouldn’t have to suffer poverty.
Yet a man like Müller was willing to lay down his life – his personal gain, his salary, his time, his privacy, his comfort – and give his life for God’s glory in the care of these children. He showed them the love of their Heavenly Father and what it was to hope in Jesus Christ.
We can learn from Müller what it means to give others a reason for the hope that is in us, and a reason for living. Ironically, we do this by dying – dying to our selfishness so that Jesus can live in and through us and bring life to others.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13)