God At Work Through IM

When Loved Ones are Suicidal

When Loved Ones are Suicidal

I didn’t expect to see my friend pointing a gun at his head.

First Responders would call the visit I made that day a welfare check. I was simply checking in on a friend at his house. Until that moment when I walked into the room, I had not realized the level of distress my friend was experiencing. I was more than shocked – I was in a cold sweat. What could I do to move his finger away from the trigger? What words would help? I felt very unequipped at that moment, but God was there with me. God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) God promised not to desert me. He didn’t.

The gun was pointed at his head, and I was filled with terror of what might happen next. Yet I could not just flee. Not only is this someone I care deeply about; this is also is a soul for whom Christ died. I can’t desert him; Christ didn’t desert me. "We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19


I didn’t think I’d ever see a gun pointed at my friend’s head, his finger threatening to end his own life. What could I say to avert disaster? In the wake of this experience, I'd like to offer two answers. The first applies to preparation for whatever day you will encounter. The second applies to the moment.

First, God offers us the wisdom of planning ahead. Prepare yourself ahead of time by knowing God’s Word. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, God instructs us to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Have a clear understanding of what God has said, especially what God says about our sin, about his forgiveness of that sin, and about his eternal love for us. This knowledge will aid us more than we realize when under duress.

Second, trust God who always journeys with us. Ask him for help. Rest assured he will give it. Trust God to guide your words. Having studied previously, these words of God apply to us:

Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11

When I checked on my friend, I never expected to find him with a gun pointed at his head. What could I say to avert disaster? I didn’t know, but God did. He used me to say them.

Some of you who read this will say, “Wow, I didn’t realize you worked with such pressures. How can I help?” My answer is threefold: 1) by your prayers. God promises to hear and answer. 2) by your gifts to further this work. 3) by your time, joining us in this ministry. Ask us for details.

Please join us in praying: Thank you, Lord, for faithful chaplains, first-responders, and front-line workers. Be with them in their difficult work. Bless their efforts with saved lives, not just physically, but eternally. Amen.

Ministry Behind the Walls

Institutional Ministries is a nonprofit organization established in 1901 that carries out behind-the-walls ministry by shining the light of Jesus’ love into hearts.