Comic actor Robin Williams died today at 63. His death is a suspected Suicide. This is a tragic loss for his family and loved ones. The press releases claim that Williams was suffering from depression and had recently been in an alcohol treatment program. Robin Williams has never claimed to have faith in Christ and often mocked religion and godly principles in his act. What could life have been like for Williams had he embraced a relationship with his creator?
I have not been much of a Robin Williams fan since his Mork and Mindy days, due to his profanity laced comedy and ultra left leaning viewpoints. Nonetheless, it is truly tragic to see someone choose to take their own life. From the outside looking in, one could ask the question: "What would make you happy Robin Williams." On the surface, it appears that Robin Williams had everything life could possibly offer. Everything except peace... Depression and substance abuse are serious issues that rob not only from the person struggling with these issues, but those closest to them. William's story sadly reminds us that money, fame, and power are no substitute for peace and contentment.
Williams, like others who pursued fame and fortune attained wealth beyond his wildest dreams. His addiction to alcohol and struggle with depression would suggest that what he once believed would fulfill him did not. Sadly, Williams took what he saw as his only option without having given Christ a chance to deliver him. There is a lesson for others in this tragedy, having it all can still leave us with nothing. Williams, like others before him, attained all the pleasures and wealth that this world has to offer and he found it was completely unsatisfying.
King Solomon came to the same conclusion toward the end of his life, as demonstrated in the book of Ecclesiastes. The difference between Solomon and Robin Williams is that Solomon recognized the supremacy of God and realized that the only pursuit that could fully satisfy a man was the pursuit of God. Solomon realized, after having experienced all that the world had to offer, that only God could fill the void in a man's life. Sadly Robin Williams never discovered this truth.
As believers, we need to realize that people around us may seem to have it all and may seem to be on top of the world, but are secretly struggling with deep and dark issues. Part of our quest to be salt and light is being sensitive to people and their struggles, loving them where they are and taking opportunities to share the love of Christ with them. It seems cliche to say "Jesus is the answer" but the fact of the matter truly is: Jesus is the answer.
How I wish that Robin Williams could have found peace with God before his struggles overwhelmed him to the point of taking his own life. Williams, apparently, saw no hope. God is the author of hope. It may be too late for Robin Williams to find the peace he so desperately craved, but there are people we know who are experiencing similar struggles. We need to care enough to reach out and gently and lovingly guide them to the Author of peace. People who are struggling do not need to be beaten over the head or dictated to, but rather befriended and loved. People who are searching for peace need to see God's love, care and patience demonstrated through us.
My prayers are with Robin Williams' loved ones and others who are struggling with similar issues. I pray that they may find the peace and love of God that seemed to evade Williams. I pray that as a believer, I can be sensitive to others who are finding the struggles of life overwhelming and be empowered by the Spirit of God to share the good news concerning the Prince of Peace.