On the way home, as we ate our ice cream cones, I thought about how sad I used to get as a kid when I reached the bottom of the ice cream cone. I would always want another one. One, two, or more, simply wasn’t enough to satisfy. If allowed, I’d eat ice cream till I was sick to my stomach.
Truth be told, not much has changed since then!
But even as good as Bloomville ice cream is, at the bottom, I’ll never find any lasting satisfaction – that peace that our hearts so crave. The same can be said of so many vices in life. At the end of every bottle of alcohol or dollar spent, both are trying to meet a need that is incredibly deep. But neither has the power to satisfy, but rather only increase the need for more in hopes of filling the void. Neither satisfies the deep hunger, the God shaped hole that’s in every human being.
It’s easy, as Christians, to look at someone else and want to pick the dust out of their eye while we have a plank in ours. So I invite you to take a sober look at yourself. We are just as susceptible. We can be tempted to allow an idol (money, sex, food, career, success, hobbies, etc) take God’s rightful place in the throne of our hearts. Idols aren’t limited to golden cows or statues that we read about in Scripture. An idol is in fact anything that usurps God from our hearts. He must be first.
Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
The hunger, the thirst, that needs richly fed cannot be satisfied through things of this world that are bound to fail. When we discover that all we need is in Christ do we truly see the things of this world become dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Even with all the success in our world, people still die never fully realizing what true abundant life is. Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came that we may have life abundant. That’s not abundant in things, but in joy and in peace, knowing we are clean before a holy and righteous God. That, my friends, is abundant living!
Our ice cream trip was wonderful! And for those that know about the size of ice cream cones in Bloomville Ohio, I only ordered a small cone this time. But even if I ordered a large (and I’d hate to see a large) I’d still reach the bottom of the cone.
Christians! You will never reach the bottom of His boundless riches!
This is Uncle Jon, and I have to say that while I can understand how an individual might want to use a tragedy as an analogy to help others; I know this is the wrong avenue to do so. None of us knows the inner workings of Robin Williams and to postulate otherwise is foolhardy. This is from someone whose has spent the past 6 years studying psychology and completing my doctorate in the field, and have spent many hours counselling those individuals who have battled depression. While religion and/or God may help some of those depressed; there are many individuals that have allowed God into their hearts and they still have to had fought the battle of depression and sadly on many occasions people lose that battle. The neurons and chemical make up of a brain that is as depressed as Robin’s was, cannot simply be cured by the power of God. He wasn’t simply depressed because he “allowed an idol take God’s rightful place in the thrones of our hearts….” Robin had battled fiercely depression his whole life and that chemical makeup, could not find a cure in such a simple manner as you are proposing. That is no slight towards your religion or anyone’s religion. The truth of the matter is that depression is not as simple to fight as the common cold virus, that can be treated the same for each individual. Some people may respond and recover through therapy, medication, exercise, meditation, or religion; but for sadly too many individuals they can’t find the right combination that works for them; it’s not from lack of trying or fighting and to put forward a simple answer to such a multifaceted problem is wrong and will only push more people that are struggling with depression in the shadows and not seeking the assistance they need to battle this illness.
Hi Jon! Good to hear from you.
I’ve sat on your comments for a couple days not sure how to reply. I think I now have my thoughts gathered up and ready.
You are correct. None of us knows the inner workings of Mr Williams. That means both of us. Neither you or I ought to postulate and to use your own words, for either of us to do so is foolhardy. I cannot presume he was in his right mind anymore than you can presume he wasn’t. You and I can make presumptions based on outside information only and that information is, without a doubt, interrupted differently by you and I. Unfortunately neither of us is privy to the inner workings of his mind. That’s left up to God.
It is on God that is my second comment. The article is written under the belief that there is in fact a Divine Creator, one that can heal, and even without healing, can enable someone through the power of Christ to be victorious while enduring and living with a disease. It is on this that we find any further debate between us moot. My beliefs are that there is one true Living God. I am unsure on your beliefs. Based on statements in your comment I can only presume this is not the case.
Finally the article made a presumption that Mr. Williams was not a Christian, that is, a person who believes that Christ died for their sins, has admitted so and confessed those sins, and has asked Christ to live in their heart. A Christian is also one who, after completing this step, begins to live a changed life as a result of this step. My presumption was that he was not a Christian, based on the external alone. I do not know where his heart was. Only God knows that. And I do not know if he ever had opportunity to seek forgiveness. I have to assume that he did. But to know for certainty is improbable.
Was the article wrong in making those presumptions? That is likely so. However, if I were to remove Mr. Williams from the article completely and not reference someone’s life specifically, the message in fact remains intact and indeed relevant to Christians. It still serves as a solemn warning of the dangers of attempting to fill the God shaped hole in our lives with something other than Him.
That being said, the article has been adjusted to reflect this.
On a personal note, thank you for commenting. Jon, I appreciate your comments and most importantly, you! They really made me think and hone in on my writing! The proverb that says iron sharpens iron holds true! This experience for me was one of growing towards being more careful in writing! To you I owe a thank you!
Love ya Uncle Jon!
Thanks for the devotional! The loss of Robin Williams is so sad that I did not want to believe it. Certainly “Satan is a lion seeking for whom he can devour.” The song in my heart today has been “Shout to the Lord!”.
I believe your intent was honorable and your desire was to inspire and help others, maybe in the manner you feel that God inspires you and feels your heart and soul. Having counselled many people over the years, I have had the pleasure of talking with a wide array of people, from all walks of life. Many of the people I have worked with, are very much Christian and firmly believe that having God in their lives, do help makes their lives richer. Yet, they still battle depression and often need more assistance than what religion alone can offer. They may need to talk with someone that simply listens to them and empathizes with them; others may need drugs, meditation or some combination of all.
I don’t think it may someone weak, if they find in their battle with depression that they need more than what the Bible can offer.Now, I’m certain there are many people you have helped with assistance from the Bible and your strength in your belief in God. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it can be dangerous if we blindly believe there is only one solution to many problems. Oftentimes, we learn that may be right for some, is simply wrong for others. Unfortunately, there are those individuals that fight long and hard and try every avenue they can to relieve their symptoms to depression; but cannot find the peace they so desperately seek.
I just hope there is some good that can come from Robin Williams’ death. That people that need help, seek help wherever they can find it. I think many times people think depression isn’t a serious illness, sadly the number of suicides linked to depression continue to rise. So, I don’t think there is necessarily one right answer to battling depression, there are many avenues available and some are more successful than others; yet the key is to make people aware that depression is a debilitating, ruthless disease and I think that is oftentimes forgotten in this country.
No, I’m not a religious man and I would make no pretense otherwise. I think that you believe that God works through and helps you in helping others and I’m sure you do a great job with that. I take a different path in my approach to helping others. I don’t think my approach is necessarily better or worse than yours, it’s just a different approach with the intent of wanting to help those in need. As for me personally I think Popeye described me best when he said, “I am what I am and that’s all that I am.”