What’s the old news adage; if it bleeds, it leads?
About 25 years ago a journalist named Eric Pooley first commented on the disturbing trend he had noticed in local news.
Returning from nine weeks of ministry in small villages throughout Ghana, West Africa—this is one of my first thoughts as I return:
Literally no news is good news!
Local, National, and World News are full of Bad News.
The good news, if there ever is any, doesn’t seem to make the editorial cut, instead some jaded journalist administers a speedy death by delete button.
At the airport in Germany I couldn’t wait to get my hands on The NY Times or The Wall Street Journal. In the Lufthansa Lounge there’s a wall of newspapers to choose from and I approach it like a six year old goes after the Christmas packages under the tree.
Not because I read them when I’m home.
Like most people I get my news online or from TV.
Once in awhile though I indulge in the guilty pleasure of reading USA Today in bed.
Of course, I never do that at home!!!
First because we don’t subscribe to that newspaper, or any newspaper for that matter.
Second because part of the fun of reading a newspaper in bed is not caring about getting smudgy ink stains on the bedsheets—so this, for me anyway, is a hotel activity, like room service, or the Concierge arranging fabulous theatre tickets.
Here’s what I discovered has happened while I was otherwise engaged:
Currently Germany is teetering on the brink of recession, the middle east is embroiled in yet another conflict that threatens to pull the US back into the region, Hong Kong is challenging King Kong (China), and Kim Jung-Un is AWOL.
*Personally I think he’s just popped over to Vegas. He’s flying under the radar dressed in a fake Tommy Bahama shirt and pumping coins into the slots while enjoying free soft drinks and the $8.99 all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet.
Nine weeks is a long time away from the Information Stream, that steady relentless flow of what’s happening everywhere and every moment. While the rest of the world was reading about or watching the up to the minute coverage of the Ebola Crisis in West Africa, we’ve been in West Africa, but far removed from the front lines of the growing epidemic in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
We saw suffering, but a different kind of suffering.
Not suffering rooted in physical disease, but in the human condition of mankind apart from God. It’s a suffering perpetuated throughout the ages and across the globe.
And on that front there is GOOD NEWS 😉
The GOOD NEWS is that God still loves us.
The GOOD NEWS is that Jesus Christ gave His life so that anyone and everyone who trusts in Him could know God.
That’s the actual definition of eternal life that Jesus gave.
And this is life eternal, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
God continues to work in people, in our hearts, making us whole again by making Himself known, by showing us Who He is and what He’s like.
All of our broken parts that produce pride and envy, selfishness and anger, deceit and lust, God can and does attend to PERSONALLY.
His Holy Spirit lives inside every believer and helps us to get to know Him.
It’s a vision of glory that our souls hunger for.
The Bible is full of stories of people, but each of those stories is a story of God in that person’s life.
How God met them in their need.
How He revealed Himself to them.
His mercy, His provision, His protection, and His love reaching down deep within the heart filling, flooding it with a transforming knowledge, a knowledge of God.
This isn’t impersonal doctrine; it’s a life-giving relationship that truly empowers receivers, believers, to live and to be all that God desires and intended us to be.
While in Africa I had a glimpse of His glory.
In a mountaintop moment I saw His mercy and grace covering me in a cloak of forgiveness blotting out my selfish sin.
The years of His steadfast love and faithfulness remembered in a moment of revelation now sealed forever in my heart.
His abundant answers to my prayers throughout the years.
The greatness of His kind intention toward me and those I love.
Oh, there is GOOD NEWS for the heart longing for God.
It’s this: He’s longing for us.