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Ann Farabee: It’s not good news

Has someone ever said those words to you? They need to tell you something, and preface it with that warning — to prepare you — because it’s not good news.

I was with my younger brother several years ago in the emergency room when a doctor walked in and said, “It’s not good news, Mr. Miles,” and continued by sharing the diagnosis. The doctor then walked out after saying they would do what they could, but that it didn’t look like he would make it.

I will never forget the look the two of us shared as his eyes searched me for hope and he said, “Am I going to die?” Three weeks later, he did.

It’s not good news. I never hear those words now without thinking of that moment in time.

I would like to say we handled the moment calmly, but the reality was that it was extremely frightening. We felt like we were in a whirlwind, tossed around without any control, without any understanding, and without any help.

As my brother looked at me, I quoted every scripture and said every word of comfort I could bring to mind. I prayed aloud, begging God for help and for healing, but he kept saying, “Am I going to die?”

Over the three weeks, he — and our family — did receive amazing comfort and peace that can only come from God.

Two things that help me the most during the ‘not good news’ times in my life are:

LEARN. The answer is in God’s Word. God’s Word is alive. I could not read it enough during the time of crisis with my brother. I learned by studying the scripture. I found verses to strengthen and encourage. I read them aloud. I prayed them aloud. I wrote them down. I carried them with me. For this particular season, as he crossed over to be with Jesus, I found great strength in Psalm 46:1,10 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Be still and know that I am God.

Also, Ecclesiastes 7:1-3 – The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go into the house of mourning than into the house of feasting. Sorrow is better than laughter: by sadness, the countenance of the heart is made better.

LEAN. Do not assume your friends and family understand the difficulty of your struggle. Tell them. Galatians 6:2 says that we should bear one another’s burdens. How do we bear the burdens of others if we do not know what those burdens are? We need to reach out to others, letting them know we are struggling with ‘not good news’ and that we need their prayers and love and support. Learn to lean on others.

God has plans for your life on Earth and for your life beyond this world. They are good plans. God knew you before you were conceived. He loved you. He sent His Son to die for you. He is going before you, behind you, and is in the midst of your situation. You are not alone. You may have been surprised by the ‘not good news’ but God was not.

2 Corinthians 4:17 says that our light affliction is but for a moment, and it works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Our ‘not good news’ should not weaken our faith. There is a purpose for it. Use it to strengthen your walk with Christ. Use it to remember that God has the Power and can work miracles. Use it to remind yourself that there is a much better place awaiting you- your eternal home.

LEARN and LEAN … and when fear and doubt begin to creep in, fight back by speaking these words: I trust You, Jesus. (REPEAT) I trust You, Jesus. (REPEAT) I trust You, Jesus….

Ann Farabee has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. Contact her at annfarabee@gmail.com

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