Which do you want first? The good news or the bad news? This question always presented a conundrum. Bad news first so that the good news can cheer you up afterward? Good news first so that you’re ready for some bad news? We had some “bad” news yesterday concerning our preparation for Peru. It wasn’t that bad– one disappointing piece of news, one thing that was just an unexpected change. After going through a bit of wrestling with defensiveness, I was doing the dishes in the evening and it seemed like God reminded me that He had given us the good news first. We have had several amazing answers to prayer in these last few weeks. We were able to reserve a convenient and lovely home in San Jose, in a good public school district, right next to the language school, with the same bed sizes that we have now (these details matter!). This house is currently being rented by our new friends at the language school, friends who are actually moving to Cusco, so we’ll be able to see them in Peru. (See May newsletter for more details.) We found out that we have some time to prepare the kids for Spanish immersion school since it doesn’t begin until February. The Father has given me a fresh peace about “getting everything done.” God has been faithful. After the kids were in bed, Will and I were going over our mailing list and supporters list. It is a humbling realization that these wonderful people want to help you do the Lord’s work. Again, more good news.
I was reflecting this morning that the Bible often mixes the good news with the bad news. In Genesis 15, God tells Abraham that he will have descendants (good), that they will be oppressed and enslaved for 400 years (bad), and that God Himself will vindicate and rescue them (good). John 15 and 16 are full of these contrasts: they will kick you out of the synagogue and think that they are doing God a favor by killing you, but the Holy Spirit will be with you and teach you what to say; I am going away, but the Counselor will come to be in you forever; “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!” John 16:33.