Robin Williams committed suicide.
This news has shocked many fans. Williams was a beloved comic genius whose public image was full of energy and laughter. But he had lived with substance abuse and depression for many years.
Fame, wealth, the goodwill of millions of people, none of these was enough to prevent his falling so deeply into depression that he killed himself. Williams’ story will be discussed and memorialized. Many others who are living with depression right now will not be.
Many people suffer from depression and every day some sink so deeply that they give up hope.
Many problems that we face, problems like depression, are made worse because we refuse to face the reality that we have them. We do not seek help when the problem first arises. We do not want to believe that it is really bad or we do want to admit any weakness. Whatever the reason, we do not ask for help until our problem has gotten so bad that no one can help.
Being a Christian does not make us immune from problems. Being a Christian does not mean that we cannot get depressed. Being a Christian does not mean that something is wrong with our faith if God does not magically fix us when we have a problem.
Jesus invites us to face our problems and our weaknesses with the confidence that He will give us strength. He invites us to tell the truth about the struggles we are living with. He encourages us not to put it off, but to face it directly.
If you are struggling with depression or hopelessness or any hidden emotional pains, ask for help. If you know someone whom you suspect is struggling, reach out to him or her. If you are a member of a church, make sure your church is a place where people will not be turned away just because they are struggling.
Don’t wait. Do it now.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC