Whitney Elizabeth Houston
Whitney Houston’s mom took people to church for a longer length of time than many of us have spent there in the last month – four hours. It was not simply a four-hour memorial to her daughter’s talent -- but to how she lived, loved, struggled, failed and kept getting up and giving, until she died. How she died, although the subject of hours of TV/cable/tabloid speculation, was not chief to the celebration – but it was a compelling reason I watched her home-going commemoration.
She said her faith was in God; (I Look to You) – but, gossips insisted she found help in drugs and alcohol. Her friends described with spoken and unspoken words every Christian’s nightmare: professing faith in the finished work of Christ, we [can] resist the refining work of the Holy Spirit to whom we must needs give our idols – those objects of affection to which we cling.
Why do we cling so?
Maybe Christians do not trust wholly God can and will be for us what we think the idols are – personal sources of help and love. Now, Ms Houston has finally been delivered from this lie. “Death appeared to win,” one pastor said, “But Christ fought him took away its sting and Love won. God is love.”
No commercial interruptions -- hours of worship – And I saw the help that God never failed to provide her, even though Ms Houston died. Yes, she stumbled publically – but these were fewer times than I have stumbled out of the public eye.
If the Lord delights in a man’s way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24)
But, throughout Whitney Houston’s memorial service, I saw the ferocity of the roaring lion, which devours those who will not remain alert or practice self-control. (1 Peter 5:8) Nobody gets a pass on His battlefield – that I even have another day to live – an hour -- is mercy all. And I saw the battle from which God delivered Whitney Houston remains as real for me as it was for her.
Thank you Mrs. Houston and your family for having your dear daughter’s memorial service in your church – it was time very well spent! I got the message: Prioritize! Don’t put off until tomorrow what needs doing today. (Matthew 6:25-33)