Psalm 119:154 – “Defend my cause and redeem me; preserve my life according to your promise.”
Hollywood actor, and native Australian, Heath Ledger was found dead today in his Soho neighborhood apartment in New York City. His death will dominate news headlines for the next several days. Extremely talented, blessed with financial success, fame, and a little girl, Ledger seemed to have it all. Early speculation is that Ledger took his own life. It may have been an accidental overdose of prescription medication, but whatever the cause, people all over the world are asking the question, “Why?”
We may never know. I never met Heath Ledger, but I’ve read a lot about his life. He, like many celebrities got a lot of publicity. His September separation from Michelle Williams had to hurt. A friend of his told US Weekly earlier today that Heath was getting deeper into drugs. His friends were worried. He said they could see it coming. The only thing that brought Heath joy was his two-year-old daughter.
It’s sad. I hate seeing people come to this point. I had a girl in my office recently who had come to the end of her rope. She was addicted to drugs, making horrible choices, and in her case not sure of what to do. I’m glad she reached out for help. If she hadn’t, I’m afraid that she would have been in the same spot as Heath. Today, she is receiving treatment and care for her addiction, and more importantly is rediscovering the love and grace of her Savior.
There will be some Christians who will point fingers today and say that Heath is dead because he didn’t have Christ. But, there are Christians that struggle with drug addiction too. There but for the grace of God go any of us. If today you have made it through life without addiction, praise God. And, pray for those who struggle. Pray for the millions of Heath Ledgers that are out in the world tonight and desperately need the grace and healing touch of our Savior. Maybe this is the week you say, “Enough is enough! Too many young people are making terrible choices in regards to drugs. I’m going to do something about it.”
What can you do?
1) Pray. Pray for healing. Pray for a solution to the drug epidemic in the world. Pray for those who are caught in the grip of addiction.
2) Give. There are a ton of great organizations that are working with addicts. In the Twin Cities, Teen Challenge is a faith based organization that has worked with thousands of addicts. Consider giving a financial gift to help them in their ministry.
3) Volunteer. Maybe you think you can’t make an impact in the life of an addict. You’re wrong. Organizations like Teen Challenge, Tree House, and others could use people just like yourself to help. I can use people who are willing to mentor and come alongside of teenagers who are involved in drugs and need a positive mentor in their life.
4) Ask for Wisdom. God will tell you what your role should be. It may be something completely different.
David prayed that God would preserve his life according to His promise. Had Heath Ledger known God, and had Heath reached out, God would have reached back. Is it possible that Heath did reach out? Sure. But, he needed help. Sometimes God chooses to give that help through His people. Keep your eyes open. There are lots of Heath’s around. There were dozens of people who died because of overdose today. The death of a famous person puts it in the forefront. Let’s not forget the opportunity we have to be life preservers.
It’s sad to read of the death of someone so talented and so young. It’s sad to think that a little girl won’t get to grow up with her Daddy. It’s sad to think that there are dozens of people today who also died of drug overdoses. It’s sad to see the toll that drugs has taken on our society. Bless Heath Ledger’s family today. Surround them with people who know You. Let them experience Your grace. Be with his little girl. And, help us to have our eyes opened to the hurting. Preserve our lives according to Your blessing, and allow us to be a blessing to the world around us.
In Jesus’ name,