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A Spiritual Autobiography
How God fulfilled the faith-based hopes
of an ordinary guy from Jersey City
Good News in the Midst of Bad News
My experience has been that the past two months have been filled with bad news. Every time I looked at the news on TV they were telling about the bad news in the Middle East. Especially the evil deeds of that evil bunch of people called ISIS. Not to mention acts of terrorism in many other places in the world. Then there’s the sports news. I’m not much of a sports fan these days, but it sounds to me like there’s a lot of bad news coming from some of our major league teams. The teams too often are acting like a bunch of self-centered individuals, rather than as individuals who have come together to help each other win their games. Then there are the weather reports. They are constantly reporting about the terrible freezing, cloudy, icy and snowy weather we’ve been having.
Like I said, nothing but bad news. As it came time to write this post I kept telling myself that there was nothing to write about. This blog is not supposed to be about bad news. It’s not supposed to be about hopelessness. After all, we call it Ray of Hope Ministries. Have I been wrong in believing that God assures that in the midst of bad news there is good news? Of course, I believe, accept and found it to be true that God will provide good news some day. In God’s time and God’s way. Yes, I can look back to times many years ago when my life was filled with bad news. But eventually, years later, I could see how God assured that the end result was good news. But over these past few months, I’ve been hoping to see some good news, but I just couldn’t see any. I wondered, “how long, Lord, do I have to endure this depressing news? When are you going to give me some good news?
Yesterday, God answered me. Today, God has been answering me. God is answering me right now. I can summarize what God is saying to me in this way, “I have been giving you good news in the midst of bad news, every day. You just haven’t been listening to me.” Then God clarified for me.
It’s true that most of the TV news reports have been full of bad news. But on the station that Joan and I watch (WABC channel 10, in the Philadelphia,PA area) the newscasters always make sure they include some good news. They actually go searching for good news. They find it and talk about it. Usually, it has to do with how individuals are showing love to others. Sometimes even in the midst of war, crime, and other forms of evil, they tell about people who are demonstrating that they are made “in the image of God”. Good news in the midst of bad news.
Over the past few years I have developed arthritis. It has been particularly painful over the past few months. Not a day goes by that I am not experiencing what is for me, severe pain in my back and neck. Until yesterday. On my way home from church I realized that so far that day, I was almost totally pain free. And it was pretty much that way all the rest if the day and evening. And as I write this all seems to be well. Good news in the midst of bad news.
Yesterday was also some bad news. It was another cold, cloudy, snowy day. And in the evening and overnight the snow changed to icy rain. I don’t like to see snow (unless it’s somewhere in the distance), but that’s not a big problem. We have someone who faithfully clears our sidewalk . But then there is the ice that sometimes covers the sidewalk. That’s really bad news, because it can be dangerous. So I went to sleep last night worrying about waking up to what I expected to be an ice covered sidewalk. So I went out to look things over. I was pleasantly surprised to find that, while there was some ice, the sun was beginning to shine, and the ice was melting. So, with just a bit of ice-melt salt, all is in the process of going well. Good news in the midst of bad news.
I could go on and on about how I have experienced or observed good news in the midst of bad news in my personal life and even in the world and local news. But I’ll leave it at that for now. From now on, when I hear about or see bad news, I will be remembering that God will assure that eventually there will be good news – in his time and his way – which might be weeks, months or even many years in the future, but in the meantime, right now, God will be providing opportunities to see and experience good news in the midst of bad news. Maybe you are already finding that to be true. But if not, just stay alert – stop, look, and listen – I assure you that God will give you some good news in the midst of bad news – any time and all the time.
Grace and peace, Ray
Thanks for your attention. We look forward to hearing your comments about our web-site. We also invite you to send us stories of your experiences and observations of present hopes and hope fulfilled, so we can spread them around the world via this web-site. This is one way we can all join together to help keep hope alive.