Was there anyone who didn’t grieve over the loss of Robin Williams? Everyone was so shocked, he was such a fine man, such a great legacy. So many people loved him. But what happened to him happens to so many people every day.
His death will not be in vain, it has opened dialogue for many to now talk about their own depression. And for many to share hope.
If I don’t do anything else in this life, I pray I can help someone who is hopeless. You see, I was once hopeless….and like Robin Williams, I was living a really blessed life. No one knew how lost I was, how depressed I was, how hopeless I was.
But a miracle happened. You see, I was looking out the window of a 14th story apartment and wanted to jump out. Fortunately, the windows did not open. But if I didn’t jump, would I find another way? I actually was engaged in risky behavior….
So the day of my miracle, two young ladies were serving the Lord, looking for Him to use them, to draw them to someone in need on this beautiful day, the darkest day of my life. They had been dropped off downtown Norfolk, Virginia. At the time, there were three towers, high rise apartments. The were drawn to the towers and had to pick one to enter. Once they were in, they picked a floor, and it was the 14th floor. Then they had to pick one of three apartments. They knocked on Apartment C.
I had just prayed to God, saying, “God, I believe in you. But who is Jesus? Is he real?” I wanted out of life….and then I heard a knock. This wasn’t my apartment, I had just stayed overnight and when I woke, I was alone. Should I answer the door? I kept hearing a knock. I looked out the peep-hole and saw two bright and shining faces glowing at me. They knew someone was there, so they asked, “Have you thought about Jesus today?”
I couldn’t get them inside fast enough. I shared with them my despondency, how I wanted to jump, and how I just prayed and asked who was Jesus. They were so excited as they said they realized they were sent to tell me about Jesus. You see, they both had been lost, too. Both were attractive young ladies, they ran away from their homes, got caught up in prostitution in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. They each met someone who shared Jesus with them. And then they wanted to share how they were delivered from the clutches of such an unhealthy and risky lifestyle.
I wanted this too….And on this day, I learned who Jesus was, how He came to this world to rescue the lost, to save our souls for eternity, to deliver us from hopelessness and to give us purpose for life. He actually took the sins of the world, and my own personal sins, and was crucified, died, was buried and rose again on the third day. He then showed Himself to His disciples and to over 500 people. And then after 40 days, He ascended back into Heaven where He sits at the right hand of the Father, our Creator. And He has continued to be this real in my life.
Paul, an apostle who had persecuted Christians, had overseen their deaths, was blinded by Jesus only to be converted and became the greatest missionary of all time. Here are a few words from one of his letters he wrote, 1 Corinthians 15, verses 1-8:
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
And that’s what happened to me – He appeared to me in the faces of these two young ladies. I suddenly had hope, a purpose, a reason to live. He forgave me of my sins and sinful ways. And the black hole in my heart was filled with His love….
And that was when I began to live a life-time of forgiveness.