The Shock of Death: Kobe Bryant
Last Sunday when I saw the pop up notification on my phone that Kobe Bryant had been killed in a helicopter crash I was in disbelief. I was just getting out of church when I saw it, and I felt shock and disbelief. The feeling took me back to the day my beautiful daughter, Hannah moved to heaven.
It was so hard to fathom that it could be true. I hoped it was just a bad dream that I would wake up from. I was numb. Unfortunately, it really did happen.
Like many I admired Kobe Bryant as a fan, although I never met him. I believe that sometimes these tragic events take you back to experiences that you may have had. I feel for Kobe’s family and all of those that lost loved ones during the crash.
On Monday the day after Kobe’s crash I watched Demi Lovato’s performance “Anyone” that she gave at the Grammys. She wrote the ballad two years ago just four days before she overdosed trying to end her life.
As I listened to her sing through her tears it also took me back to experiences we had with Hannah. Our daughter, also struggled with depression and at times she lost the will to live.
Reflections on Life and the Difficulties We Face
The interesting thing to me is as we watch these young stars, who have tremendous talent, fame and fortune they live under intense pressure. The internet and social media have caused them to live life in a fish bowl. These are pressures that people in the past didn’t have to face. I feel for them, and pray that they will figure things out in God’s grace.
Solomon’s Words Still Fitting
Solomon talks about the vanity of life without God. Some of these young people do have faith in Christ, but like many of us they are still trying to work it out. It’s especially difficult for them under so much public scrutiny.
We see even among Christians and in the church so many unkind tweets and posts where believers are attacking one another. It’s embarrassing, especially when the Bible says the world will know us by our love for one another.
After Solomon lived his life and acquired all his wisdom he said…
“I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.”Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 ESV (Emphasis mine)
Solomon admits that all he had accomplished and acquired seemed like striving after the wind. Have you ever tried to harness the wind? No small task! The Bible says there had never been anyone so blessed as Solomon in material wealth and in wisdom. Yet, with all of his wisdom it increased his sorrow.
I don’t think life is as hopeless as it may seem at times. Many of us including myself have experienced times of exasperation, times of where we hit lows. Jesus said in John 10:10 he came that we might have life and have it abundantly. So why is it that so many, even believers don’t seem to be experiencing this?
One of the reasons is we are listening to wrong voices about what it means to be successful and to live a fulfilled life.
King Solomon also spoke of all these voices crying out, seeking our attention.
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?”Proverbs 1:20-22 ESV
I want to encourage you to be careful to which voices you are listening to, and to who you are looking to, in order to verify your significance. Lately the Lord keeps reminding me not to despise small beginnings.
“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.””Zechariah 4:6, 10 ESV (Emphasis mine)
Recently I learned that 1 in 3 young people today have been diagnosed as clinically depressed. Which is a sobering stat that is hard to fathom. Too many of us are looking to the wrong things to bring us satisfaction in life and in this ever connected world we seem to be more alone than ever. That’s what Demi Lovato’s song is all about. “Nobody is listening to me… Is there anyone, Lord is there anyone, I need someone.”
There is Hope in our Good Father
My encouragement is that each of us look daily to the Lord for His strength to make it through the day. He loves his children. He is a good God, and desires the best for us. One of my favorite passages in the Bible reminds us of God’s goodness and His desire to care for His children.
“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”Matthew 7:11 ESV (Emphasis mine)
What a wonderful promise. There is hope for each of us as we seek the Lord. Look to your Father who is in heaven my friends. He loves you and He has a good plan for your life. You can trust Him! His promises are sure and true.
In His Grip, Dave