Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 35, 37-39 (NLT)
Despite the reality that God clearly gifted Whitney Houston with a voice as none other. Despite a voice that lifted and inspired most of us who were blessed to hear it, to dream, to reach, and to hope in our own lives.
Despite that, at some point in her earth-bound journey, which ended on February 11, 2012, you might wonder if Whitney Houston lost sight of those promises of God in Romans which were recorded by the Apostle Paul.
Maintaining status, celebrity, an image of any kind, is a path filled with peril. We can find that kind of pressure most anywhere we look—politics, entertainment, sports, business, and even within our families. Living up to the expectations of others. In the sports world it’s about victories, championships, money, stardom. And after those, in the world of expectations, it’s about “what’s next?”
Sadly, Whitney Houston’s life among us is over. A great talent gone too soon. And I suspect that she felt some of those pressures and expectations, and heard whispers of “what’s next?”, as she sought to find relief in the margins of her life, looking for more moments in her life where she didn’t have to live up to the expectations of others. But it seemed instead that her relief, temporary at best, came through the dark alleys of drugs and alcohol.
She lived a life that contributed immensely to the world through the gifts God gave her in music, voice and acting talents. And in that, despite her death, her life wasn’t finished. Her legacy wasn’t finished.
One of her most famous songs was entitled “I Will Always Love You.” Ironic, actually, as you listen to some of the words and wonder if she had ever heard them herself, as if spoken to her by the God who created her—
“I hope life treats you kind, and I hope you have all you dreamed of,
And I wish you joy and happiness, but above all I wish you love,
And I will always love you, will always love you.”
With a belief like that filling our hearts—that God feels that way not only about her, but us—what will we see each morning and night when we look in the mirror? Isn’t that status and celebrity enough for us? To have the God of the universe cheering us on, filling us up, always loving us, never separated from us by anything, and never leaving us. With that belief as Paul lays out in Romans, and contained in the words of her song, to undergird us, what else should we need—fame, fortune, adoration, championships, drugs, celebrity, alcohol, victories and material things? I would hope and think not.
Look, we are always called by God to do our best, to use the gifts He has given us to the fullest, to be all we were created to be—and in that, we glorify Him. But in the journey, we need to remember, that we already have all the status and celebrity we will ever need—in the eyes of the God who created us and loves us. And nothing can ever separate us from that love.
How different our lives will be, and can be, when we believe that the God who created us will always love us.
And that no matter what happens, no matter what others say, think or expect, no matter, even, if we forget all that He promises us—He will always love us.
Just as He loved her.
In His Name—Scott
Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.