By Caitlin Choveaux
World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10 ought to remind us of what we are missing
The latest statistics show that almost one million people tragically commit suicide each year, which equates to a death every 40 seconds!
With the recent shocking news of well-known actor and comedian Robin Williams' suspected suicide, it is evident that not even fame and fortune can save people from depression and complete despair.
Why are so many people choosing to end their own lives?
Research studies show that social isolation can significantly increase the risk of suicide, while having strong bonds with others can protect against it, according to the International Association for Suicide Prevention.
It seems a lot comes down to feelings of connectedness. Do you long to feel loved, valued and appreciated by someone? In some way or another we all do. This is because we were purposefully created for relationships, both with other people but especially with God.
In the first book of the Bible, Genesis , we read that God created Adam and then said: "It is not good for man to be alone", so He created Eve. Then they talked and walked closely with God in the gardens.
Devastation followed when Adam and Eve chose to deliberately reject God by doing the one thing that He asked them not to do. Their act of rebellion brought a curse that separated them completely from God, tearing their relationship apart.
Have you experienced a friendship or relationship that has been torn apart? Whether through death or differences, it hurts! For some it can hurt so much that it may feel like there is no reason to face another day in this life.
Since that first relationship was torn apart at the beginning, there is a deep desire in all of us to reconcile it, even if we do not yet know what it is.
Money, career goals, fame, family, relationships and other endless pursuits fill up our time and give us purpose but they can never fully satisfy because life is so short and uncertain. And when things go wrong, our whole world crumbles and we are left asking: what am I living for?
The only One who is constant through the ups and downs in our lives is God, who waits patiently for us to turn to Him and realise that being in relationship with Him is the reason to live.
In fact He loved us so much He came and died from us, as Jesus Christ, to lift the curse we inherited through Adam and Eve. He gave up His life so that our relationship with Him could be restored and we could live with Him forever.
Jesus said in John chapter 10 verse 10, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." While we have life, we have the choice whether to accept what Jesus has done for us or not.
And, if we do seek to reconcile with God, we have joy, peace and hope no matter what we face in this life because of God's promises in the Bible.
The apostle Paul, a man who knew many hardships in his life, wrote in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 verses 16 to 18, "We never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever."
We live for God because He is the only one who can give us purpose beyond what this life has to offer.