Make The Worst News The Best News

We all deal with adversity—for some of us, every day. Once in a while, the difficulties are serious. Today, I am sharing how I have confronted the toughest challenges I have faced. I do so with the belief that how I have dealt with these issues may inspire you on how to best confront your toughest challengesHere are some of mine:

My journey in the professional workforce began at age twenty-two. Since then I have been let go from positions twice. This in itself could be a couple of tips. However, the fact is, I never missed a single monthly paycheck, never had to go to the bank or a family member for a loan, or draw unemployment. These were times of great stress, but each time I landed in a better place. Somehow, the worst news became the best news.

During my seventeen years in business as a consultant, I have twice lost clients that were at least one-third of my business revenue. New clients can take months to come on board, so losing that kind of business can hurt badly. But we have never missed a house payment or not paid a private college tuition bill. Somehow, the worst news became the best news.

In addition, Angela and I have had other serious personal challenges in our immediate and extended family. Even here, somehow, the worst news became the best news.

When I was twenty-four, I was diagnosed with acute leukemia and told I had three months to live. What do you do when the world as you know it—and maybe even your life—is about to come to an end?

I underwent two years of aggressive chemotherapy, including drugs that had not yet receive FDA approval. My hair fell out. I lost weight. Many days I was so sick I could not get off the couch.

The best news from leukemia came in the form of a lot of love from my family and friends (including my wonderful future wife) and two words from scripture.

While I was in the hospital, there were no acute leukemia survivors that came to visit me or tell me how they had survived because there were no acute leukemia survivors. The world (and my doctors) told me there was no hope.

But Romans 5:3-5 said otherwise. It said, I was to “glory in tribulations, because tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

While the world held no hope, there was a greater hope, God’s hope, which never disappoints. Never. This hope is a sure thing.

The second word came two days before Christmas. The doctors had decided I could go home from the hospital for a few days—for Christmas. I had pizza and chocolate milkshakes with some of my family in my hospital room to celebrate. When the nurse came in to take my vitals, she discovered I had a fever, and likely a serious infection that could kill me, since all my blood counts were so low from the chemotherapy. I was immediately hooked up to a drip of antibiotics and told I would not be going home.

I was angry. Really angry. If I was going to die, at least let me go home for one last Christmas.

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to “lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles us and run with patience that race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

There was the second word – patience. I was not on my timetable but on God’s. And, as I would learn, His timetable is much better than mine.

As it turned out, the fever was probably a reaction to some platelets I had received earlier that day. It is unlikely I had any infection.

Over time, my hair grew back. I surely put on plenty of weight. I have celebrated many Christmases at my home.

Two words – hope and patience. Somehow, they make the worst news become the best news. Those two words carry me today as does that same God. They carry me through my daily adversities and whatever tough, serious battles I face.

So regardless of when you receive bad news, I encourage you to always make the worst news the best news. We need to find hope and have the patience to confront our life’s toughest challenges.        

Your thoughts are welcomed. Thx ben


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