Whitney Houston’s music provided much of the soundtrack of my high school and college years. Her songs always made me think of carefree days, a time when life was bright with the promise of happy tomorrows.
It has been sad to watch her decline through the years as she was ravaged by drugs and alcohol abuse; her exquisite, soaring voice ruined.
News of her death at the age of 48 on Saturday night was heartbreaking but not shocking.
I thought of her death when I read this verse this morning:
Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be. Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more. My life is no longer than my hand! My whole lifetime is but a moment to You. Proud man! Frail as breath! A shadow! All his busy rushing ends in nothing. He heaps up riches for someone else to spend. And so, Lord, my only hope is in You. (Psalm 39:4-7, Living Bible).
Riches and fame are hollow victories. They provide no true peace or happiness. Nor can they save someone from their personal demons. Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Whitney are all proof of that.
What will you gain if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? (Mark 8:36)
The truth is, there is no lasting peace in this world without Jesus.
I was able to view Whitney Houston’s last (impromptu) performance which was taped two days before she died.
The devastating effects of time and abuse had altered her once fresh and beautiful face into a hardened and bitter one. However, for a brief moment or two, the old Whitney Houston shone through. The crowd screamed as she sang and she gave a playful wave before exiting the stage for what would be the final time.
She sang “Jesus Loves Me.”
I hope she knew how very much He did.