In 1997, Entertainment Weekly called him the funniest man alive. But this week, the funniest man alive was so wrought with despair that he committed suicide.
Sixty-three years young, Robin Williams ended his battle with severe depression with finality. He could see nothing beyond the barrier of his mental and emotional anguish.
While the Internet is replete with messages of shock and grief, I wonder how many people really knew him. Knew the dark demons that held him captive. The insecurity that caused him to turn to drugs and alcohol, complete twenty years of sobriety, then turn again to alcohol. The worry that he might fall prey to those addictions yet again.
Perhaps he understood the reality of the line in Ella Wheeler Wilcox’s poem, “The Way Of The World,” “Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.” Robin Williams made the world laugh, but he wept alone.Vulnerability doesn’t come naturally. But wearing masks does. We pretend everything is okay, despite the fears that paralyze, the questions that afflict, and the despair that tortures us.
It shouldn’t be this way, especially among Christians. Regardless of our individual histories, every believer has the assurance that the salvation found in Christ is the basis for hope.
- Hope that no matter how unlovable we are, God still loves us and He proved it by sending His Son to die in our place.
- Hope that what we deserve is not what we will receive.
- Hope that no matter how good or bad this life is, eternity will be so much better.
- Hope that the power to change is not found in our own ability, but in the Holy Spirit’s ability to change us.
- Hope that no matter how many times we fail and fall, God offers forgiveness and cleansing, and a chance to begin again.
This world is filled with despair. But Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).
If you have the joy of hope in Christ today, will you share it with someone else? You just might save their life.
If you are living in despair, will you share that with someone else, as well? You just might save your life.