by Jack Wise
Jake’s parents were normal compared to other parents. They both worked. They had two other children, girls, whom they cared for. Shelter and food and everyday child maintenance were provided. His parents were on and off “church” goers of a local denomination. Even though they lacked total dedication, they were loving caring parents who were good to their children.
Jake was a typical young man of fourteen who enjoyed the normal boy stuff. Fishing, four-wheeling, and playing video games were part of his life. Like many of his contemporaries, Jake was starting to find out a little more each day about what kind of man he would eventually become. Among other things in his life, he found girls interesting and had a young girl whom he called his “girlfriend”, though they never officially went on a date.
Jake hung himself. Alcohol and drugs were ruled out. Insanity, anger, hatred, getting even, loneliness, or any other emotion we can imagine fails to answer the “why” he hung himself. He told another young man that life wasn’t worth living because his girlfriend broke up with him. That may answer the immediate “cause” but “why” can only be found in the scriptures.
Jake committed suicide. In simple terms, he murdered himself. When Noah and his sons left the ark, God blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply upon the earth. He then gave strict teachings concerning the blood. Men could not eat the blood, for the life of the flesh is in the blood, (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:11). God then explains to Noah that whoever sheds man’s blood, then by man shall his blood be shed. Life must be given for life! When Jesus came to this earth, He shed His blood, (Hebrews 9:11-14), for mankind that they might have life and have it more abundantly, (John 10:10). Without Jesus' blood, man would be eternally lost. Jesus' life had no effect on Jake because Jake took his own life, he stood alone.
Jake didn’t put God first. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Jake failed to seek the kingdom of God first (Matthew 6:33). He should have practiced loving God with all his heart, and all his soul, and all his strength, and all his mind (Luke 10:27) This is the first and great commandment! (Matthew 22:38).
Jake placed his affections in the wrong place. He should have set his affections above, and not on the earth (Colossians 3:1-2) The Greek word for “affection” is phroneo which means to direct one’s mind to, to seek, to strive. We learn a lesson through our brother the apostle Peter. During the fourth watch at night, there was a terrible wind storm that rocked the ship. Jesus came walking unto the disciples on the water. Peter said, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.” Jesus invited Peter to come to him and Peter left the ship and began to walk on the water! “But when he saw the boisterous wind, “he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:24-30). What caused this change in Peter, going from brave to having little faith, as Jesus said? (Matthew 14:31). Because Peter set his eyes away from Jesus and became too concerned with the affairs of the world around him!
Jake’s thoughts deceived him. He told himself there was nothing to live for. Paul said our minds can become corrupted even as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtileness (II Corinthians 11:3). We are to guard our minds. Jake convinced himself that his family, friends, and future were worth nothing compared to the ache in his heart over one girl. All he felt was agony. Jake will never come to the peace God offers, “which passeth all understanding, that is able to keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). Jake should have redirected his mind to think on good things (Philippians 4:8).
Whatever the problem men confront, taking matters into their own hands causes more sorrow, pain, and undo stress. The family Jake left behind now has to deal with the agony of missing him and the manner in which he died. If Jake had realized God’s deep concern and love for him, then he could have taken his problem to God and cast his cares upon Him (I Peter 5:7) We are warned to be anxious for nothing but in “everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
Murdering oneself during troublesome times is not the solution. There is a refuge we can turn to and that is the Lord (Psalm 9:9). He is our refuge and our fortress, “in him will I trust” (Psalms 91:2). Burdens of life are overwhelming at sometimes or so it may seem. Submitting to the cares of the world causes us to become unfruitful for the kingdom of heaven!