It is the saddest of news. As I read this article about a pastor in California taking his own life, it brought tears to my eyes.
Jarrid Wilson was a pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship, the megachurch in Orange County, California, pastored by Greg Laurie. It is also the church that runs the SoCal Harvest, where 2,100 people were saved just a couple weeks back.
I feel great sadness for him as a man, that he had to endure such pain and suffering. i feel sadness for his wife, who now has to carry the burden of these memories for the rest of her life. I feel immense sadness for the children, who have now lost their Daddy and the chance to grow up with him by their side.
Yet as I write this, no thoughts of judgment enter my mind, and I also pray not in the minds of others.
We live in a tough world, and while our savior died on the Cross to give us the gift of eternal life, we as Christians are still left here somewhat to our own devices to figure out how to get through this life.
Being a Christian doesn’t necessarily make marriages work, or make businesses and finances magically come together, or take away pain and suffering, and so we still face most of the same carnal pressures and challenges in our day-to-day that those who don’t know the Lord also face.
Jarrid also started a ministry to help others with suicidal thoughts called Anthem of Hope.
His wife, Julianne Wilson, shared a touching post on Instagram. In it she stated:
“My loving, giving, kind-hearted, encouraging, handsome, hilarious, give the shirt of his back husband went to be with Jesus late last night.
“No more pain, my jerry, no more struggle. You are made complete and you are finally free. Suicide and depression fed you the worst lies, but you knew the truth of Jesus and I know you’re by his side right this very second.
“I love you forever, Thomas jarrid Wilson, but I have to say that you being gone has completely ripped my heart out of my chest. You loved me and our boys relentlessly and we are forever grateful that i had YOU as a husband and a father to my boys.
“You are my forever and I will continue to let other people know of the hope in Jesus you found and spoke so boldly about.
“Suicide doesn’t get the last word. I won’t let it. You always said “Hope Gets the last word. Jesus does”. Your life’s work has lead thousands to the feet of Jesus and your boldness to tell other about your struggle with anxiety and depression has helped so many other people feel like they weren’t alone. YOU WERE an anthem of hope to everyone, baby, and I’ll do my best to continue your legacy of love until my last breath.
“I need you, jare. But you needed Jesus to hold you and I have to be okay with that. You are everything to me. Since the day we met. J & J. Love you more.
“These are photos of him in his happy place – fishing the day away. I’ll teach our boys all your tricks, babe. Promise. You are my #anthemofhope”
Julianne, I and Christians all over the world stand with you in your hour of need. While we do not know you and we cannot physically comfort you, I want you to know that the Christian women of the world are here to stand with you in prayer.