“I have some good news and some bad news.” Ever heard that before? We often choose to hear the bad news first, hoping the good news will provide a joyous overshadowing of the other. And sometimes we have to come up with the good news ourselves. I’ll share some of my own good news and bad news related to my son’s attending a new school.
|The Bad News||The Good News|
|Travel time to school one way is 45 minutes.
||We get uninterrupted time together talking and singing.
|We no longer have door-to-door school bus service.
||We are welcomed at the door of his school with quietness and calmness.
|We have to gas up the car much more frequently.
||Thankfully, God faithfully provides.
|Students are released from school at 3:15 p.m. which interferes with normal working hours. (His previous school released students at 4:20 p.m.)
||I can empathize with others who have demanding or scattered schedules.
|My son had to deal with bullies every year.
||His new school is very safe with little to no chance of him being bullied.
|His learning disabilities and anxiety are challenges because homework is more difficult.
||His learning and anxiety disabilities are accepted and he is loved, accepted, and encouraged as God designed us to be loved by Him.
Here are a couple of others from my life in general:
|The Bad News||The Good News|
|My children have flooded my bathroom twice in an attempt to create a swimming pool inside the house.
||My bathroom tile has been thoroughly sanitized . . . twice!
|My son’s Tourette Syndrome leads to unfiltered experiences—especially in the confined, quiet space of elevators, where my son has been known to call people “old man” and “fat.”
||These opportunities give me the chance to apologize often as well as to be taught lessons about human nature. I’ve learned to examine my own thought life (because, honestly, I’ve often been thinking about what my son has blurted out loud).
We all have experienced days filled with good news and bad news, though some days we tend to focus on the bad more than the good. Those bad-news days, when we’re constantly asking God “Why?” can be deeply rooted in a desire to control, to avoid, or to chase down a quick fix. Sometimes, our asking the Lord to explain Himself comes from our feeling entitled to know His answers. The better choice for us as believers is to place our trust in God. Faith places us at the foot of the cross, surrenders us to God’s unconditional love and allows us to remember His promises to be faithful and trustworthy.
Take the psalms below to heart. Memorize them, so you can quickly bring them to mind during those times when you receive good news . . . and bad news.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.
You are good and do good;
Teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:67-68)
Colleen Swindoll Thompson holds a bachelor of arts degree in Communication from Trinity International University as well as minors in psychology and education. Colleen serves as the director of Reframing Ministries at Insight for Living Ministries. From the personal challenges of raising a child with disabilities (her son Jonathan), Colleen offers help, hope, and a good dose of humor through speaking, writing, and counseling those affected by disability. Colleen and her husband, Toban, have five children and reside in Frisco, Texas.
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