Good News
Pastor Brandon Severn

Have you ever received good news?  I mean news that has the potential to change your life.  I remember getting the news that we had been approved to build our first house.  The night my wife Amber told me that she was pregnant with our first child.  The times the doctor told us that each of our children were healthy after being born.  I have had much good news throughout my life.

This week, however, I was expecting some bad news.  See, I have been sick for some time.  Really for the better part of 4 months.  During the last 5 weeks I noticed my sickness had become more severe.  I could just feel it in my body, something wasn’t right.  My body began to tell me in its own way something was wrong.  Daily fevers, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, headaches, cough, loss of voice, and not being able to keep food down.  For the first time in my life I became very concerned about my health.  I began to seek out and receive medical attention (something I don’t do very often).  Tests were run, blood was drawn, visits were made.  I had to just wait.  Tests came back with some questionable results with further and more detailed testing needed.  At first, I wasn’t very concerned until I heard my wife fighting back tears while talking to her parents.  She obviously thought my condition was more serious than I did.  See my wife is a Nurse Practitioner and had been consulting with other doctors about my condition.  On the edge of tears, she admitted to me that she thought my condition was Lymphoma.  My heart sunk.   Cancer is never the news that anyone wants to hear.  Now, this was not a formal diagnosis, but what a few doctors thought was most probable.  I am ever the optimist.  I tend to see the good in any situation.  I immediately looked up and clung to the statistic that the survival rate for Lymphoma in someone my age was 90% or greater.  Being an optimist makes it easy for me to say, “don’t worry, God’s got this”.  It doesn’t mean I’m more spiritual than anyone else, its just my personality to trust and cling to hope.  I immediately took this news to God, but if I’m honest with you, I was scared.  I was having a hard time seeing the good in the situation.  I kept thinking that I would get sick, God would heal me in a miraculous way, and I would have a great testimony to share.  And then my next thought was about my family and how this would change things so much for us.  I was having trouble keeping positive.

The next step for me was to get a CT Scan to confirm results.  The scan itself took only minutes.  The tech told me it would take about 48 hours to get the results back.  I had a few days at this point to come to terms with possibly having Lymphoma.  I was determined to fight.  I was determined to stay optimistic.  I was determined to lean on my God for strength and healing.  The next day, Amber let me know the results had come in.  They had come in a full day early.  I felt like the moments on the phone were in slow motion as she prepared to read the results to me.  I was ok with a Lymphoma diagnosis, but I refused to believe it until the results would give me a final diagnosis.  She read word by word, line by line.  I still didn’t understand.  There was too much medical terminology for me to grasp what it was saying.  Amber spoke up and said I probably have viral pneomonia.  My first thought was “I have this on top of Lymphoma”?  Then the words came out of Amber’s lips…”You don’t have cancer”.  I made her repeat that line and even asked her how sure she was about the results.  That line “you don’t have cancer” repeated in my head.  I don’t even remember the rest of my conversation with my wife.  The good news played over and over.  Expecting bad news, then receiving good news made it even sweeter to hear.  At that point I cared less that I had pneumonia.  It seemed so small and insignificant in comparison.

My thoughts quickly changed to the gospel.  See all of us are preparing ourselves for bad news whether we know it or not.  All of us are dead in our sin and awaiting our judgement.  God himself reaches down and extends his salvation through His son Jesus Christ to each of us.  He offers us Good News when we don’t deserve it.  He loves us so much that he gives us the free gift of salvation.  As Easter is just over a week away, I’m ecstatic about the good news I received this week, but even more thankful about the good news that Jesus Christ has given me.   Hug your family, friends, and give thanks for all the blessings in your life this week.  Please join me in praying for all of those battling cancer out there.  God bless you.

 

Pastor Brandon