When a celebrity such as Robin Williams passes from this world, there are many who site their contributions to the lives of people. In the case of Robin, it was his humor that the world remembers. Sadly, this planet and the people who inhabit it, are often focussed on superficial things and matters that have little or no eternal value.
Like many people, I loved Robin’s uncanny ability to move from one subject to the next at light speed—making fun of the frailties and foolishness of many subjects of human life.
Sadly, life is not a joke, and the brief time that we have here on earth is over very quickly. The issues that Robin faced which are the alleged cause of his depression—were not the true cause of his early death. It is often the case that those who need the most help, deflect their own sorrow by making light of their struggles and never really deal with the core issues of their sadness.
It is a fact of life that we were made to be loved by God. He created us for Himself and it is in Him that we find our purpose and personal satisfaction. Having lived in the world apart from God for many years before discovering His love, I suffered from a severe case of personal sadness over life. My own father dealt with depression during his entire existence and at the end, during his final year, only then did he seek God and find the answers he had searched for.
After a brief post on Hollowverse.com that Robin now believed in God, I was struck by the emotional response this brief statement caused in the hearts of so many. Those who do not believe in God, ridiculed those who do. They offered no intellectual answers to the questions of God’s existence, often recording a few vulgarities or cruel statements, then departing into their darkness. Christians argued doctrine and whether those who take their own lives could inherit heaven or hell. Very few of those who claimed to have a relationship with God offered any words of comfort or encouragement to those who were grieving over Robin’s untimely departure.
Fewer still considered that the decisions we make in this life will affect our happiness now, as well as after we depart this life. Having spent 40 years searching for credible answers to life’s most important questions, I was shocked by the number of young people who accept the regurgitated doctrines of other atheists—while never personally investigating the credible evidence for God themselves.
So many lives, so many lost, so few who seek genuine truth.
What is our real purpose in this life? Is it simply to make people laugh, become famous or wealthy, or are we here for a purpose greater than all these things?
Robin had everything that most people in this world seek after and rarely find—and it was not enough. Many people imagine that if they could accumulate enough money, or fame—they would be truly happy. Robin had an abundance of both and still he felt empty and sad.
It was not depression that caused Robin to take his own life—it was despair over living the life he had chosen. This is a frequently repeated story by those who become wealthy and famous. They do not achieve the happiness they imagined.
Jesus said it like this:
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? —Matthew 16:26
What good is all the fame and fortune that Robin Williams accumulated over the course of his life—since in the end he forfeited his own soul? He gave all he had for things that did not truly satisfy him. There was an abiding sadness in the eyes of Robin whenever he was not making people laugh. His own unhappiness was shrouded in a facade of despair that he could not overcome.
A person will never achieve lasting happiness of the soul, until they find the Living God. David described his own inner craving of the heart with these words:
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. —Psalms 42:1-2
David had suffered through moments of deep sadness, despair, and regrets over the bad decisions he had made in his life. The difference between David and many other men—he knew that God was the answer for all his sadness. When he came before the Lord and confessed his wrongful words and deeds, he found forgiveness and restoration for his soul. David’s lifetime of joy with God, in the midst of many failures, allowed him to endure the difficulties of life and its many trials.
The atheists doctrine of “no God,” leaves a person with the kind of utter despair and hopelessness that led Robin Williams to end his own life. In Robin’s mind, it would be better to die—rather than continue another day in despair. Those who ignore God and pretend that He is not real—find no adequate substitution. They claim freedom, while remaining in the chains of other addictions and vices. Their language and behavior is vile and lawless. They find no freedom in the very mantra they chant to the world: “God is not necessary,” while they display no real proof that their life without God is genuinely happy and free of burdens.
Those who come to God, through Jesus Christ, find not only the forgiveness of their sins, but a new life that is filled with purpose and joy. Yes their are many moments of difficulty for those who follow and believe in Jesus—but they are always overcome by abiding in and relying upon the Lord. I have suffered the loss of a wife, mother and father, a home by wildfire, the loss of career, money, and many friends. Through all these things, the Lord was so very near me, that I was unable to fall into utter despair. He sustained and cared for me—through every failure of my own, and those at the hands of other people. Not once in 40 years has He ever failed to sustain me and keep me from utter hopelessness. I have found the purpose for my existence in Jesus, and no one can ever convince me that He is not real. He is more a part of my life than my own heart which beats within my body, and the breath that I draw everyday in order to live.
I grieve for Robin and all those who give up their souls to gain the world, only to find that it has not satisfied the true longing of their heart. I pray that many will turn to Jesus and fall upon His amazing love and mercy and find what I have found—peace.