Chappy’s corner “Hear any good news lately?”

Joe answered the phone and on the other end was his doctor who said, “Joe your medical tests came back and I have good news for you and bad news, what do you want first?”  Joe said, “Give me the good news first!”  The doctor replied, “The good news is that the medical tests indicate you have a rare disease and you will die in 24 hours!” Joe shouts back, “if that’s the good news what could be the bad news?”  The doctor answers, “I’ve been trying to get you since yesterday!”


We all have bad days, maybe not as bad as Joe’s, but we still have days when all it seems we hear is “bad” news.   The car battery is dead, so we are late to work, thjoe boss is in a bad mood and he chews us out. Our spouse is sick and the children have trouble at school, and the list can go on and on as we experience one horrible, no good rotten miserable day. At times like that some folks become so discouraged and depressed that they might want to throw the towel in and quit.  In fact many folks do quit, they quit on life or they attempt to quit on life.


A fellow chaplain told me of a Soldier who had been told his young daughter had a deadly disease and she would die.  As the days went on he began to drink and become depressed. His wife and he quarreled and his command started threatening him with being discharged.  He disappeared, but thankfully a friend of his found him out in the woods.  The Soldier had been looking for a tree to tie the rope to for his hanging. The friend convinced him to come back, and then he called the chaplain. The Chaplain connected the man with some medical help and counselors. Miraculous they found out his daughter had been misdiagnosed.  She would live.  The chaplain and others worked with the command to save the man’s career and his marriage.  From the time the guy had disappeared until the time he saw the chaplain it was three days. In three days this man’s life had changed. It’s a great story but one wonders what would have happened if his friend hadn’t found him.


All of us will have bad news in our lives at some time.  We don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world of sickness, suffering and that sting of death.  Like that Soldier we may be going through some great struggles.  But in those terrible times we need to know that God has not abandoned us and that nothing can separate us from him.   That doesn’t mean every illness will end with a miraculous healing, or every marriage will survive, but it does mean we don’t have to give up because nothing can separate us from God.  No matter how depressed one feels, no matter how down one gets, remember that our Lord is there to hold on to us, and to lift us up.  The one, who created us and gave us life, wants us to live, and that’s why He sent his Son into this world.


When I heard that Chaplain’s story I recalled how the disciples must have felt when Jesus died on the cross.  Their hopes and dreams were shattered.  Jesus was dead, but then three days later they heard very good news. Jesus had risen. He was alive and their lives were changed, all in a matter of three days. What happened on those three days is the central part of the Christian faith. Christians believe that because Jesus suffering and death paid for our sins, and his resurrection gives us life forever with God.  That is the good news that drowns out any bad news we may have.  That’s the good news that gives us hope when times are tough. That’s the good news we want to hear daily!


That’s just my thoughts from this sunny SE corner of South Dakota.

CH (COL) David Gunderson