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Rest can be found only in Him

By Thurman Hayes

Earlier this month, within the span of a few days, the world was shocked by the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

Kate was the designer of sleek purses and started a company that morphed into an international sensation.

Anthony was the incredibly popular host of the TV show, “Parts Unknown,” in which he traveled the world taking in the culture and tasting of wonderful foods.

In fact, in the case of Bourdain, people felt like they had lost a friend. He was gifted at relating to viewers, and to others. In the aftermath of his death, one young man said, “I met Anthony Bourdain only once, while waiting in line at a food festival. He said, ‘Hey kid, you hungry?’ and it was like I bumped into an old friend. He spent the next 10 minutes listening to me talk about my home country, Trinidad and Tobago, with the utmost engagement. I wanted him so badly to visit there. I felt I could trust him to see what I saw in Trinidad, as if the heart of my country would be safe in his hands as a person and traveler.” Ultimately, Bourdain did visit this young man’s country, and spoke of the island as if he had fallen in love with it.

Christian commentator Rod Dreher said this about Anthony: “Bourdain had more cross-cultural skill than just about anyone I’ve seen, because he just valued people and was interested in them, who they were, their heritage, and what they had to offer.”

Both Spade and Bourdain were admired, wealthy and famous. And yet both took their own lives, when they had so much more living to do.

The actor Jim Carrey once said, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.”

Long before Jim Carrey, the Bible said the same thing. We will never find satisfaction for our souls in the things of this world. As C.S. Lewis once said, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”

Indeed. Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they find their rest in Thee.” I wish Anthony and Kate had found that rest. I wish they had come to know the only One who could fulfill their deepest longings.

In saying this, I do not mean to minimize depression, which seems to have played a factor in both these suicides. I do not mean to minimize the helpful role that can be played by professional counseling or, at times, medication.

But our world needs a hope that comes beyond the things of this world. People need to know about a Savior who bore their sins to the cross and who can bear any burden in their lives. They need to know that God desires a love relationship with them, and that their present and their future can be bright in Him.

So be kind to people. They are carrying burdens you know nothing about. Tell them about Jesus, who understands our pain because He entered the pain of this world and took it on Himself.

 

Dr. Thurman R. Hayes Jr. is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Suffolk. Follow him on Twitter at @ThurmanHayesJr.