Legendary actor and comedian Robin Williams died on Monday, a suspected suicide. He was 63.
The Marin County coroner said in a statement that the death was suspected “to be a suicide due to asphyxia.”
“Robin Williams passed away this morning. He has battled severe depression of late,” said the comedian’s spokeswoman Mara Buxbaum. “This is a tragic and sudden loss. The family respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”
His wife, Susan Schneider, added: “This morning, I lost my husband and my best friend, while the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings. I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
I am not a connoisseur of great art, but from time to time a painting or picture will really speak a clear, strong message. Some time ago a picture of an old burned-out mountain shack was on display. All that remained was the chimney…the charred debris of what had been that family’s sole possession. In front of this destroyed home stood an old grandfather-looking man dressed only in his underclothes with a small boy clutching a pair of patched overalls. It was evident that the child was crying. Beneath the picture were the words which the artist felt the old man was speaking to the boy. They were simple words, yet they presented a profound theology and philosophy of life. Those words were, “Hush child, God ain’t dead!”
That vivid picture of that burned-out mountain shack, the old man, the weeping child, and those words “God ain’t dead” returns to my mind. Instead of it being a reminder of the despair of life, it has come to be a reminder of hope! I need reminders that there is hope in this world. In the midst of all of life’s troubles and failures, I need mental pictures to remind me that all is not lost as long as God is alive and in control of His world.
The lord gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed his character to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
The compassion and mercy of God both provide a hope. He does not deliver these through FedEx. He delivers them personally. We have a hope of receiving more than we deserve. God gave Moses a chance to see His glory. God guided, fed, fought for, and filled the tabernacle during the Israelite time of wandering. God’s presence will bring hope to your difficult time.
The Bible says that He is slow to anger and has unfailing love. According to a traditional Hebrew story, Abraham was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old man, weary from age and journey, coming toward him. Abraham rushed out, greeted him, and then invited him into his tent. There he washed the old man’s feet and gave him food and drink.
The old man immediately began eating without saying any prayer or blessing. So Abraham asked him, “Don’t you worship God?”
The old traveler replied, “I worship fire only and reverence no other god.”
When he heard this, Abraham became incensed, grabbed the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out of his tent into the cold night air.
When the old man had departed, God called to his friend Abraham and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, “I forced him out because he did not worship you.”
God answered, “I have suffered him these eighty years although he dishonors me. Could you not endure him one night?”
God will not always accuse or remain angry. Like the soldiers of WWI who paused for Christmas to celebrate playing soccer, trading goods, and sharing a meal, there will be a time of pause. Though the war continued, Christians have a hope that when God calls a pause it is because the war is over. Christ has won and we can be in eternal peace because of our faith in Jesus Christ.
Do You Need Hope?
A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, “Eighteen to nothing–we’re behind.”
“Boy,” said the spectator, “I’ll bet you’re discouraged.”
“Why should I be discouraged?” replied the little boy. “We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!”
Hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.