Psalm 69:1-3 (HCSB)
1 Save me, God, for the water has risen to my neck. 2 I have sunk in deep mud, and there is no footing; I have come into deep waters, and a flood sweeps over me.
Last Monday night, the tragic announcement of actor and comedian Robin Williams’ death, apparently by suicide, shocked many of us. It was known that he struggled with severe depression, but for many of us the only encounters we have had with Robin Williams was via his portrayal of a character we have grown to love; Aladdin’s Genie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Peter Pan, or in his more serious roles as Patch Adams, or English teacher John Keating in “Dead Poets Society“, and psychologist Sean Maquire in “Goodwill Hunting“. For most of us this is the only thing we know about Robin Williams. We were not made aware of all his private struggles only those which became public knowledge. We were not invited into his everyday life and permitted only a glimpse into who Robin Williams was a a whole man.
For most of us, celebrities like Robin Williams are one-dimensional people, summed up by the quality they’re best known for such as Williams’ zany humor. It can be hard to understand that a man who made so many others laugh could struggle with the disease of depression. But the truth is that no one is a one-dimensional person. We all have areas of beauty and of darkness in our life. The strongest of us have weaknesses, the “weakest” of us have strengths; the happiest of us can be sad, the saddest can be happy, the healthiest, sick, and the sick, healthy. All of us, if we care to admit it, have areas of darkness we hide away from public view. Many of us put on a happy face to the world even though we might be struggling with our own internal demons. When we come to the place where all hope is lost, and we can not see the light at the end of the tunnel, where do we find hope for our hopelessness? Ironically one of the treatments for depression is laughter.
Life can throw us some pretty tough curve-balls, and heap upon us some really hard challenges, if all we have to rely on is our own intestinal fortitude we can quickly become spent and exhausted from fighting life’s bitter battles. Some may seek relief through escapism, running away from the problems of life. Some may chose to mask the pain through medication or alcohol abuse. Others knowing they are weak in themselves will seek out the help and advice of others, whether they are friends, relatives or professionals. Still others may simply try to ignore the problem hoping that by denying a problem exists it will somehow disappear. When the burdens get so bad, and there seems to be no end to the suffering, whether real or imagined, some look for a way for the bitterness to end. For some this end comes about by their own hand. This is tragic on many levels, and leaves behind a great deal of hurt and pain, along with questions and doubts by survivors who wondered what more they could have done to reach out and help the troubled soul.
Except for the grace of God I too could find myself facing the same demons Robin Williams faced last Monday when he finally had had enough of the pain and hopelessness he was feeling. He may have even cried out to God for help and thought that God was so far removed that he either didn’t care or would not answer. Let me assure you friends that God really does care about every detail of your life. He cared enough to even sacrifice the life of his own son in order to remove the barrier that existed between us and God because of our sinful life choices. He is reaching out a hand of help and comfort to anyone who is willing to grab hold of it and trust God to lift them up out of the miry clay and the pit of despair and set their feet upon a solid rock of hope. (Psalms 40:2).
There is no problem we face that God has not made a way for us to deal with it and to overcome it. He promises to keep us and be with us through every circumstances of life. The problem is we often do not seek God before a calamity besets us, so when we find ourselves in the midst of the crisis we are so far removed from God’s comfort we can not sense his presence when it is needed the most. God’s desire is to not see anyone perish but that all would find salvation and abundant life through his son Jesus. I beg you therefore to seek a relationship with the giver of life before you come to a place where you are seeking to take your own life. It is not too late to find that peace that passes all understanding. You too can find hope when you feel hopeless, comfort when you are comfortless, and joy when you are sorrowful.
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline