BY PROSPER TINGINI
We all experience some acute pain of one kind or other. Sometimes the pain can be so excruciating that one would wish to die. Physical pain is the unbearable suffering of the body, caused either by an illness, injury or torture. There is also the mental pain as a result of some extreme spiritual feeling of torment, which may induce a person to think that it would be best to die. Wishing to end the intense pain through dying is a channel that sometimes crosses the minds of some sufferers. Some of the people may proceed to commit suicide while others think of assisted death — euthanasia. Is it wrong to want to die? This is a question that needs answers.
Wanting to die to escape from suffering, whether emotional or physical, is a very human condition. Even the Lord Jesus Christ prayed, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). This was the humanity of Jesus speaking. He knew what lay ahead of the cross, but understood that he submitted to the will of God. In all the unendurable situations we find ourselves in, using Jesus’ example, let us submit ourselves to the will of our Heavenly Father.
Some people who are suffering from terminal illness, painful conditions, or intense sadness or emotional pain want to die. Those who are suffering sometimes wonder if they can just ask God to take their lives. Is this a form of suicide? Will God take us to heaven if we pray to die? The question that also arises is whether such a prayer is sinful.
There are times when it is necessary to suffer. Christ willingly suffered because it was the will of the Father. This was a test of fate. A man called Job in our scriptures exemplified a test of faith. Some people would want to believe that such an experience is a curse, rightly or wrongfully.
In the book of Job 1:13-22, it reads: Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house; and there came a messenger to Job, and said, “The oxen were ploughing and the asses feeding beside them; and the Sebe’ans fell upon them and took them, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you”. While he was still speaking, there came another, and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you”. While he was still speaking, there came another, and said, “The Chalde’ans formed three companies, and made a raid upon the camels and took them, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you”. While he was still speaking, there came another, and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house; and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you”.
Then Job arose, tore up his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon the ground and worshipped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this, Job did not curse or charge God with wrong (end of quote).
It did not end there. Satan sought God to further test Job. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord, and afflicted Job with loathsome sores from the sore of his feet to the crown of his head. And Job took a potsherd with which to scrap himself, and sat among the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God, and die.” And Job said to his wife, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips (end of quote) [Job 2:7-10].
In this instance, it was Job’s wife who wished and wanted her husband to die, so that death could end his suffering. But NO!! Job passed all the numerous tests of faith and endured both the spiritual pain brought by the loss of all his possessions and children, plus the physical pain of the disease. He basked in the glory of the will of God, the will of our Heavenly Father. He did not surrender to death, despite his wife’s wish for him to give up his life. The Lord rewarded him accordingly. Job 42:10-17 reads: And the Lord restored the fortunes…, and the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before,… and blessed the later days of Job more than his beginning. He fathered other seven sons and three daughters… and after this Job lived a 140 years, and saw his sons’ sons, four generations (end quote).
In our prayers, we always pray; “Your will be done”. None of us will die before it is our time, even if we want to die. The Psalms of David 139:16 verifies the truth that all our days are planned out by God, and nothing will shorten them outside of God’s will: “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be”. Rather than wanting to die, pray for God’s grace and will in whatever pain we are enduring. We should trust God to determine the time and the circumstances of our deaths.
God’s ways are perfect although they may be stressful to us. He allows some torments to befall us in order to achieve His will. Suffering can be unbearable, humbling and lead us into suicidal thoughts. We might then want to ask the Lord, “Why me?” The answer may be “Why not you?” When we suffer on this earth, God has a purpose for that pain or suffering. His plans and purposes are holy, just as he is perfect and holy.
- Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly — God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile and Whatsapp: 0771 260 195. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org