“GOOD NEWS FROM OVERSEAS”

Proverbs 25:25 “As cold water is to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”

In 1978 my family had just returned for a 3rd Tour in Germany when my parents got the bad news that my Dad’s father had passed away. We had only been there a short time and we were still in Temporary Housing so we really didn’t know ANYONE, but the Army is a family so my parents were able to find someone who was willing to take in us 3 kids while they jumped on a Space-A flight back to the States to go to the funeral.

Unfortunately, none of us can even remember who the family was that took us in for that month, but I do remember it was in Mainz-Kastel Housing.

As the weeks dragged on without ANY news at all from my parents I became very discouraged and sad. When were they coming back? What was going on?! Why was it taking so long? There’s a saying in the military that “no news is good news” but in this case no news was definitely NOT good news to me! But, after my dad's 30 day leave was up they returned and we were all reunited. I remember that day very well!

As an Army BRAT in Germany in the 1970’s the only time we ever heard from our relatives back in the States was when we received an occasional a written letter or made very rare phone call. It was a time before the internet and the distance between family and friends made getting any news from them of any kind, good or bad, was a lengthy process. It usually took several weeks for a letter from the States to arrive via our APO NY address in Germany! Yet somehow my grandmother always seemed to time our birthday cards just right!

Once a year we made a phone call to my grandparents. Each Christmas Eve my Dad would place the long distance overseas call to a tiny town in Vermont where my grandparents lived. Sometimes he would let one of us kids hold the phone while we waited for what seemed like several minutes for it to ring on the other end. As I held the phone to my ear I would imagine the signal crossing the Atlantic until it finally reached them and someone picked up on the other end.

Those birthday cards and phone calls were always greatly anticipated (not just because there might be a dollar or two in the card either) because of the joy and the refreshment that they brought to us while we were living in a far country. Letters from the States that gave us updates on various family members helped to make us feel as though we were connected even though we didn’t even really know most of them.

This Proverb is fairly simple to understand. We all know what it’s like to be thirsty and we all know how a cold glass of water can refresh and revive us. When you’re thirsty and are handed a fresh, cold drink it WILL put a smile on your face!

Earlier in the Proverb Solomon says “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refreshes the soul of his masters” (Proverbs 25:13). What is it that Solomon is saying “refreshes the soul”? It’s the message that is brought, the good news from home.

You see, good news has can rejuvenate you especially when your far away and it’s long overdue! Anyone who’s ever spent long periods of time away from home in a far country knows what it’s like to wonder what’s going on with everyone “back home” and how everyone is doing. Even just hearing about their normal day to day activities can revitalize your heart! Just to know that everyone’s okay helps to give you the strength to endure the distance.

Who needs to hear from you today? Who is in a “far country” and is discouraged due to lack of good news from you? WISE UP! In this day when we have instant messaging and fast communication, there’s no excuse for us not to lift someone’s spirit with a simple piece of good news!

Of course, the good news that we should all be sharing to those both near and far is the Good News of the Gospel! Isaiah 52:7 says “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace; that brings good tidings of good, that publishes salvation; that says unto Zion, Your God reigns!”

Quench someone’s thirsty soul  and bring them the Good News today!

GO BLESS, BRATS!