December 22, 2022
Dancer, producer, and DJ Stephen Boss, best known by the name tWitch, died Tuesday by suicide in Los Angeles, leaving the entertainment industry and his fans shaken by his loss—Boss’s death was ruled a suicide by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, and was caused by a gunshot wound to the head.
Boss was found dead at the Oak Tree Inn in Encino, California, where he checked in on Monday. Since he did not check out, management went to check on him. His wife and three children lead the world in shock and sorrow. tWitch is widely mourned and loved. One of the common threads is that no one saw or noticed that he was overwhelmed by the struggle that led to his death. He seemed to be “the light and life” that kept everyone else afloat.
Thinking about this tragedy took me back to a devotional I just read from Paul Tripp. All of us struggle, and any of us can lose hope. But the message Jesus gave to His disciples, recorded in John 16:32-33, tells us some important facts for when we are overwhelmed, and ones we can share with others.
“A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Tripp shares what this passage is telling us:
1. In your troubles, you don’t have to act as though things are okay when they are not okay. Jesus welcomes us to honesty. We aren’t asked to pretend. Jesus never asks us to deny the harsh realities of life in this fallen world. He invites our cries and tears, and He invites us to run to Him in our pain and grief. Jesus compassionately and honestly warned His disciples and us about the inescapable troubles we will all face while we are in this world, living between the “already” and the “not yet.”
2. In your troubles you need to remember that what you are experiencing is part of God’s plan. What Jesus announced to His disciples was both encouraging and discouraging at the very same time. He told them that God’s plan for His glory and their good is to keep them in a terribly broken world that doesn’t function as God intended. The troubles we face are never an indication that God’s plan and His promises have failed. Our current suffering exists under His rule and according to His wise and loving plan. He sees and knows.
3. In your troubles, you are invited to remember that you are never alone. Jesus spoke of His own personal experience. He told them even when He was forsaken by all of His followers, it was impossible for Him to be alone because His Father was with Him. In the same way, as God’s dearly loved children, we are never left alone in our trouble because God, in power, wisdom, and grace is always with us. We are never left alone with our own resources.
4. You need to know that your troubles may overcome you, but they cannot overcome the Savior who protects and keeps you. You may get discouraged and stymied in your troubles, but your Lord never is. This means your troubles don’t determine your destiny—HE does!
This is news that we can take to heart and share with others who are also discouraged. We can access and share the empowering grace of Jesus.