Testimony: by West Miller
God’s Word tells us the He has put eternity in all of our hearts. We know internally that ‘something’ has both been around forever and lasts forever. We can’t quite put our finger on it because it’s above our understanding, like so many things are concerning the God we worship.
Suicide seems to be on the rise these days. Primarily young men and women losing their will to go on living for reasons only they can define. My younger brother John used to tell me jokingly (though not really that funny) that I’ve had experiences that others, for lesser reasons, have taken their lives over. I suppose that was meant to make me feel better about my circumstances. Granted, I have indeed had circumstances that were difficult to get over, to say the least. My poor brother ended up taking his life in 2008. My other younger brother is no where to be found.
All three of us grew up in the military and we are all also military veterans. I was drafted right out of Oceanside High four months after graduating. The Vietnam War was hot and heavy at the time. After getting my notice I ran down and joined the Navy and chose my rate before going in as a Hospital Corpsman (f I were to go to Vietnam it would be in that capacity.) It turned out that I ended up staying stateside, more of a second responder than a first responder in the combat zone. At the time the Philadelphia Naval Hospital had turned into the largest orthopedic hospital on the planet due to all the wounded men—primarily with one, two, or all limbs missing—that advancing technology was able to save. In WWII and Korea these same men would not have made it. This is when I really got a glimpse of one’s ‘will to live’. These individuals were my age, and yes, many were losing the will to carry-on. I wrestled with this from the age of 18 to 21. I did not know the Lord as of yet and so very much struggled with how to encourage my peers to want to live on when they could not see much of a life in front of them. I understood their perspective and also myself related somewhat to their mindset.
It IS an absolute miracle that our Lord and Savior has instilled in us this will to live. But, I believe with all my heart that, unless we discover and adhere to the calling of the Holy Spirit, recognizing that ONLY in Christ Jesus is there life, that the will to live can fail us. I discovered this truth after I did my time in the Navy, still very lost and confused and questioning if there was a life worth living or pursuing. Well the answer was given for me when I did surrender my life over to Christ. Even though there were some backsliding years, I have never lost that ‘will to live’ thing since then. God created us for a reason. I believe that reason is to live and fellowship and worship Him.
Today I live with multiple health issues, very serious ones, which, for most walking through this life without the Lord, would be a death sentence. And yet, as it stands, despite those issues, I have a reason to live; I have a strong ‘will to live’ and I thank God for that. I have, and you have, an eternity that we can look forward to despite whatever life hands us in the interim. Hallelujah! We have no reason for our souls to be downcast. The ‘world’ would say that I have every reason to be depressed enough to not want to live. And yet I have every reason, in this temporary place – TO LIVE! MAY GOD BLESS – LIVE FOR JESUS! SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS!
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”
Proverbs 14:27 “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.”
Proverbs 18:14 “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, But who can bear a broken spirit?”
John 11:25-26 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.