“Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land” (Proverbs 25:25). I love that. I live fourteen hours from my parents. Twelve hours from the small town where I grew up. Ten hours from my nearest sibling or from my wife’s siblings. Our family dynamics don’t call for a whole lot of communication with me, the fourth of four children. No animosity, just a lot of independence.
Bad news from my past has no trouble reaching me. I’ve got a good friend who is on his death bed. A couple of churches that I love have had major struggles. A college buddy left his wife. Sometimes I feel like I could say, “Like a desert wind to an already parched soul is bad news from distant land.”
It’s not that I don’t want to know the bad news. How can I pray if I don’t know the difficulties? But I want the good news to travel fast to my ears like the bad news seems to.
So what do I do with Proverbs 25:25 besides acknowledge its truth and remember some recent good news from far way? I’m going to take some time to let someone I love know about some good news that will be important to them. I’ll email some family and let them know about some of the good things happening in my life. I’ll call a friend and surprise him with encouraging news. And maybe I’ll do it often enough that they will actually long for contact from me, like a weary soul longs for cold water.
Dear Son, I know I ain’t written,
But sittin' here tonight, alone in the kitchen, it occurs to me,
I might not have said, so I’ll say it now
Son, you make me proud
I hold it up and show my buddies,
Like we ain’t scared and our boots ain’t muddy, but no one laughs,
'Cause there ain’t nothing funny when a soldier cries
An' I just wipe me eyes
I fold it up an' put it in my shirt,
Pick up my gun an' get back to work
An' it keeps me driving me on,
Waiting on letters from home.
(John Michael Montgomery, “Letters from Home”)
That’s Life at Work!