More Americans now die from suicide than from auto accidents.
The American Journal of Public Health reports that suicides now take more lives each year than car crashes. In 2009 more than 37,000 American took their own lives. The story was reported by medicalexpress.com. The combination of deaths from fatal car crashes decreasing by 25% and suicides increasing by 15% brought about the statistical change. The story also says that suicides may actually be under reported by 20%.
Improving the safety of automobiles has been a focus of government and the auto industry. The effort appears to be paying off. However, the continued political debate between the forces of self-reliance and governmental assistance is not providing a similar benefit to the thousands for whom the American Dream has become the American Nightmare.
There is no question that creature comforts for many have improved in recent years. Increasing amounts of money and research have gone into mental health, but even in light of these advances suicide is increasing. It appears to have no economic or social boundaries. There are no airbags or mechanical safety devices for the soul. There is one only true place of safety for a troubled soul – believing the gospel of Jesus Christ. For those are beaten down and discouraged Jesus says:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
The current political campaigns bring promises that claim to offer a better life. In reality, there is no hope apart from Christ. Legislation, regulation, and industry safety initiatives may indeed bring improvements in automobile safety. These same solutions cannot comfort the soul and provide rest from a world which refuses to honor God. Many people are offered false hope. They are offered hope in things that they can see – that things in this life will get better. However, as Romans 8:24 teaches, hope that can be seen is no hope at all. Tragically, when these false hopes fail too many opt for another way out.
Jesus Christ remains the one true source of rescue, rest, and restoration. He is the one who is able to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness. Offer this hope daily to those whom you know and love, to those who are closest to you. But also, do not fail to offer the rescue and rest of Christ to those whom God brings across your path who are looking for hope in things that can be seen.