What a roller coaster of a day!
This morning, in the pre-dawn hours, I was acknowledging the reality — the ferocity — of the enemy’s activities in our day… AND rejoicing in Your precious promises to see us through. Your precious promises to accomplish what would be impossible in our own strength. I was crying out to You for the help I (and all of us) so desperately need. The Help that comes only from You, Lord. The Help that reassures us of Victory, no matter how difficult — or treacherous — the path ahead of us may appear or be.
“… for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12b-13)
As I came “off the mountain” this morning, on my way to a meeting, I opened my email. How could I have imagined the lengths You would go to today, Lord, to reassure me of Your empowering Presence? To deafen my ears to the Tempter’s accusations and threats of “inevitable failure” as You opened my hearing — my listening — to You with songs of Your Unfailing Love?
The email I read — from my beloved Sista, Katt — moved me to tears. You had awakened her early this morning, way before dawn. As she prayed, You brought my name before her. As she prayed for me, You spoke a Word to her. A Word You prompted her to deliver to me via email, without knowing its significance. Without knowing it was the Perfect Word at the Perfect Moment:
How is it, Lord, that You move Heaven and Earth to pour out Your Abundant Living Water, even — especially? — when we are traveling through deserts that suck us dry? What words of gratitude could ever be enough, Lord?
I was on my way to meet with a dear sister-in-Christ here — one I met only recently, by Your Sovereign Grace. It was our second get-together. The Feast You had prepared for us — as we took You in as spiritual nourishment –also moved us to tears! Joy-filled tears that were the inevitable outward expression of our joy-filled hearts as we testified to Your Goodness and Glory. What words of gratitude could ever be enough, Lord?
Then, tonight came. I’m experiencing tears of a different kind right now — tears of deep sorrow, having heard the news that the gifted comedian and actor, Robin Williams, is dead. He was just 63 years old… same as me. So gifted in moving so many people to laugh — myself, included — yet paradoxically, so tormented by depression which, according to initial reports, won its victory over him today through suicide.
Oh, Lord… Was he, too, crying out to You for the Help that comes only from You, Lord? The Help that would have reassured him of Victory, no matter how difficult — or treacherous — the path ahead of him may have appeared or been? How is it that he couldn’t hear You, Lord? Or that he couldn’t believe what he may have heard?
I will never forget the night over thirty years ago when I was in San Francisco for a human resources conference. I had cajoled my colleagues (who were tired after a long day and not interested in any exertion) to go out to one of the local comedy clubs. When we arrived, the show had already started… but, hey: For $2.00, who’s going to quibble?
The only table left was down front, right next to the stage. We made our way through the crowd as quietly as possible, trying not to disturb those on stage. I guess we failed because, when we got to the table, I was personally “accosted” (pleasantly so) by one of the performers. He had jumped off stage and come to our table, pretending to be one of the waiters. He proceeded to welcome me, help me get seated, take my drink order, pledge his devotion to making my evening memorable, etc. It was none other than Robin Williams!
Robin had dropped into the club that night as a birthday surprise to a friend (one of the “regular” local comedians). For the next 2.5 hours — from just four feet away, for the whopping price of $2.00 — we saw Robin Williams ad lib his way into all of our hearts as we all laughed until we cried.
Tonight, he is dead. [Deep sigh.]
So this day has come full circle. I am again reminded of the reality — the ferocity — of the enemy’s activities in our day. I don’t know anything about Robin’s spiritual state. I do know that You, Lord, loved him beyond reason and measure… just as You love each one of us. Having come so close to suicide myself in that Black Period so long ago, I now grieve deeply whenever I hear of anyone succumbing to the enemy’s whispers.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (John 10:10a)
By Your Amazing Grace, I know now that there is SO MUCH LIGHT beyond that darkness! SO MUCH LIFE beyond that deadly decision! If only we would hear and receive Your message of HOPE… even if we don’t yet know it is coming from You. If only…
I guess I won’t know the answer about Robin’s spiritual condition until You call me Home, Lord. So, for now, I pray for those he left behind. His family and friends, grieving profoundly as they try to make sense of — come to terms with — what may seem “impossible” right now. His many fans — strangers who see a decades-long career that was successful beyond the careers of most in Hollywood, yet ended abruptly in despair.
May all who knew Robin and all who were touched by his life, fame or work be moved tonight — and in the days and weeks to come — to wonder about the deeper questions that might lead them to You, Lord: Who am I? Why am I here? Is this all there is? Does God exist? Could He really care about someone like me?
Questions all for You, Lord of Every Answer.
“Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)