It is really quite easy to get depressed, and in the opposite fashion, it is certainly quite challenging to stay optimistic.
For example, with the recent snowfall from this past week…a pessimist may say…“Ugh!...I don’t like the snow…it is so wet…and cold…and then it gets slushy…and I really DON’T want to build a snow man…despite the catchy song!” Whereas, the optimists among us may exclaim, “Good news! It’s snowing!...Now I don’t have to go to work today and I can stay in my jammies all day!...Hooray!” Incidentally, COVID-19 has given many Americans the equivalent of 320 consecutive snow days.
I listened to someone say recently, “Good news! 2020 is over!...bring on 2021…it can’t be any worse!” Yet, I have heard others proclaim, “2021 might be ok…as longs as you don’t watch or pay attention to the news…especially the political news. Ooops…too late…rough start to the new year.”
I remember, once, when my sister’s Barbie doll lost her head. She was so angry and frustrated with the mean brother who ripped the head off. I tried to soothe her, by offering some encouraging and heartfelt words of consolation, “Hey look at the good news…now I won’t have to listen to you make that annoying Barbie doll voice that you do.” She proceeded to attack me with the headless plastic figurine. Oddly…my words landed on a hardened heart that day.
When my wife was giving birth to our first child…and fully wired to the contraction monitor, I once stated, “Good news honey here comes another contraction!...Ohhh! This looks like a really BIG one!”
My smile quickly faded, as her finger nails drew blood from my biceps and she kindly asked me to, “STOP GIVING ME REPORTS!” through gritted teeth.
Perhaps you are feeling like I am…in some desperate need for some Good News. In Acts 27-28, we find the Apostle Paul on his final journey by boat…from Caesarea to Rome. Along the way, he and the others on the ship are caught in a major storm for 2 weeks…adrift aimlessly at sea, eventually they are shipwrecked, and to top it all off, Paul is bitten by a poisonous viper. Most would consider that journey to be a series of most unfortunate events. Interestingly, throughout the story we find Paul seemingly poised…if not relaxed. In fact, at one point, Paul breaks bread…and gives thanks.” Paul seems so secure. He seems secure with his current circumstances…he seems secure with his future…he seems secure in who he is and what God has called him to do. Paul sees the Good News.
I have come to believe that this Good News…is the very reason as to why Paul is so secure and at peace. He has Good News. He has a message of Good News. In fact, when he finally arrives in Rome…the only thing that we really see him doing, is telling people of the Good News. The Good News is this…Jesus’ Kingdom…is COMING!
So no matter how difficult we have it here and now…no matter how many Barbie dolls lose their heads or how much political mess the world finds itself in. The Good News is the same. Jesus IS COMING!, in which he will bring the Kingdom of God into fullness!
That…is some REALLY…GOOD NEWS.