If we are honest, all of us expect bad news with a degree of fatalism. We feel like bad news closes in on us. It starts “out there” as something that happens to others in other countries, in other cities, on other streets. Cross your fingers and count your lucky stars you weren’t in the car, plane, or general area when that all the bad stuff went down.
I think we are conditioned to reason this way. Take the television News for example. All Newscasts today worthy of their salt major on bad news stories, the badder the better. Anytime a little inspiration comes along, it is quickly followed up with doom, gloom and booming guns. We turn off the TV subtly unaware of the seeds of fear nurtured in our souls. Good news is so often overpowered, in the media, on Facebook and generally in society.
I have been reflecting on the impact my wife’s battle with breast cancer has had on my family. Last week Heidi had her chemotherapy port-a-cath surgically removed. It had been in place since May 2011 to help with her treatment. That’s a long time. There have been litres of chemicals transferred through that internal tube into her bloodstream. While we are grateful for the healing qualities of those drugs, we are quite thrilled to see their end date pass us by. This is amazing news. It marks one of the most exciting milestones for us this year.
Now that the party’s over why does it feel like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop, for someone to deliver the rest of the story? I am almost ashamed to admit it.
Perhaps it is human nature to expect the worst. Perhaps I’ve had reams optimism conditioned out of me. Then I read this:
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. (Psalm 112:7-8)
These words were like a laser bold of encouragement directed to me and to my family. I read them to Heidi immediately. What a novel approach to the uncontrollable nature of life. It’s possible to move on, to not imagine every ache and pain as a relapse of disaster.
I see in these verses how our response to bad news (big or small) reveals our heart’s condition. A heart that is firm and trusting need not fear anything. Fearlessness produces a steadiness of character. This character anchors us with unshakable focus on God UNTIL our adversaries are defeated. We can contend for healing. We believe for total restoration for Heidi. Why not? We don’t deserve it any more than the next family, but the fear of bad news lurking is not going to keep us from expecting anything less.
I rose from the couch that morning a bit more alive. God’s living words waged war against the settling in my soul. These living words beat the fear; I already carry myself in a different way.
My lot in life is not waiting to die a horrible death, but rather willing to live strong and confident in a loving God until I die.
Break it to me…