Singer Chris Cornell died Thursday morning, from a suicide that his wife speculated was the result of his having taken too much medication that he was on as part of his recovery from drug addiction. I did not previously know Cornell’s name but had appreciated some of his band Soundgarden’s music and also that of his other band Audioslave, to which I was introduced by my nephew.
We may not know now what exactly led Cornell to end his life, but we may be able to relate to matters related to suicide. Perhaps someone we know and love has ended his or her own life or attempted to do so. Perhaps we ourselves have attempted to do so or entertained thoughts of doing so. No other human being ever really knows exactly what any one of us is going through and how the circumstances we are facing affect us.
To be sure, God knows what we are going through and how we are dealing with everything. In God’s infinite wisdom, He at a minimum permits us to face various afflictions, but He does not permit us to face anything that we cannot get through with His help, if only we will receive it. As we are in Jesus Christ, Who Himself for a time endured great suffering in order to save us from our sins, we always have hope. And, Christian hope is not whimsical like wishing about the weather, but it is sure and certain.
The meanings of Cornell’s song lyrics, such as those for “Show me how to live”, are debated, especially as to whether or not Cornell was a Christian. God alone knows whether or not Cornell was a Christian to begin with and whether or not his faith persevered to the end and so also where his soul is now. We pray that we may always live now with sorrow over our sin and trust that God forgives our sin for Jesus’s sake, that, when God has brought an end to our suffering, we may live eternally with Him and all who so persevere.
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.