“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
This past week the entertainment industry was shocked with the loss of Robin Williams. I don't normally get super emotional and feel connected to celebrities, but I think everyone of us had at least a little admiration for Mr. Williams. The man always seemed to play fun roles, always seemed to be actively pursuing joy and happiness for those around him, and just seem to be an all-around good man. I remember growing up watching and memorializing many of the movies that he played in. Hook, Goodwill Hunting, Mrs Doubtfire, Dead Poet's Society, Patch Adams, Blubber, Aladdin, and the list could continue for a while. All of those movies listed are movies that I watched as a maturing student and many of them hold a special place in my heart for specific scenes or ideas promoted in their script. Robin Williams was an entertainer, a philanthropist, and from the outside looking in, a man happy and content to bring the world a smile.
This week one of my good friends sent me a quick blurb that he wrote about the sadness of such a loss. He referenced an idea that I think is pivotal for believers and nonbelievers to know and understand.
Nothing satisfies our soul forever except for Jesus.
From the outside looking in, Mr. Williams looked to be satisfied by his charity, kindness, and apparent desire to entertain all who would listen. It's safe to say that if I were to compare my acts of charity to Mr. Williams I would fall short quickly. Yet, Mr. Williams persona and reputation were not satisfying. What's more, the likely joy and pleasure he gained from living his life with such an open hand did not satisfy. Lastly, though he lived with such an altruistic mentality, it would not bring him eternal satisfaction and contentment. Why? Because it appears he probably did it to serve something other than Christ.
In John 4, we read some of the same challenges presented to the Samaritan woman who met Jesus. She lived her life seeking security, peace, and contentment. Jesus in one swift sentence calls her to the carpet and in verses 12 -14 reminds us as he reminds her that nothing in this world will satisfy. Nothing. Only the “water” provided by our Savior brings satisfaction. Only Jesus can satisfy forever. The Samaritan woman had looked everywhere for satisfaction. She had explored multiple different options in her pursuit of contentment. What she was left with was emptiness and a severe lack of joy. Jesus steps into her world and provides “living water” that promises to fill the void for which she had been searching for so long. The Bible tells us that only at the foot of Jesus, through his work on the Cross for our gain, do we find satisfaction. In his right hand, the Psalm tells us, are pleasures forevermore. The very pleasures and peace and joy, that we spend our lives seeking and searching for, rest firmly in Jesus Christ.
I spoke to this end in previous blog just before the CrossFit Games, but it cannot be overstated. It is the trend and bad habit of sinful men to look for and spend our lives searching for satisfaction outside of the Cross. We can pretend and speak the lingo like we are not, but our actions and our hearts say otherwise. I don't know Robin Williams' heart, and I don't know enough about him to know for sure where he stood with Christ. But I do know I struggle daily to place my hope and my desire for satisfaction in the person and work of Jesus Christ. It takes work to put off the desires of the flesh that invade my heart and my mind regularly. But the result of placing my hope and my identity in Christ is the satisfaction of the joy that will never leave.
Bangarang Peter Pan. The world will miss you.