Poor Job. He was having a really bad day.
It started with a messenger who came in and said, “Hey, Job—the Sabeans just ran off with all your oxen and asses. Then they killed the herdsmen. I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Before he had finished speaking, another messenger came and said, “Lightning just struck all your sheep and shepherds dead. I alone have escaped to tell you.”
While that one was still talking, another ran in and said, “The Chaldeans just killed all your camels and put the camel-tenders to the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
And before he was finished, another messenger came in and announced, “A great wind just swept across the desert and demolished the house your children were in. They’re all dead. I alone have escaped to tell you.”
Certainly, many of us have had days…or weeks (…or decades?) in which we could closely relate to Job’s pain. Life can get incredibly hard–so hard that we can’t even see how we’ll face it. It’s in these moments that each of us is most vulnerable, and it’s at these times that “an easy way out of it all” can be tempting, even to those who usually tend to be cheerful and strong. Life takes us to the very edge of what we can handle. We all have to walk Job’s road somehow.
The poet who penned the book of Job used it to teach us the truth about what happens when we endure our sufferings with faith. Job praised God and withstood the trials, and, in the end, God restored twofold everything Job had lost. This illustration of faithfulness, God’s providence, and the hope that follows grief has helped billions walk through the hardest times in their lives.
Job’s story, the saints, and the Crucifixion all tell us that God brings good out of every trial…and the harder the trial is, the more good and beauty He draws out of it. That’s His way. If we “end it all” in the midst of the struggle, though, we never get to see the good. We never get to understand the “why”. We never see that our sorrow was worth something.
Why would we create a more convenient path to a person’s end? Some things should be hard, especially for those in their weakest moments. If someone chooses to commit suicide, we may not be able to stop it. But we don’t have to make it easier. That’s not a mercy at all.
If you’re in Colorado, you have an important task before you. Please vote “no” on physician-assisted suicide. Don’t enact a law that would tempt the vulnerable to give up. Let’s help them make it through instead.