My brothers and I used to go rafting down local rivers when I was in high school, particularly the Kalama and the Toutle.  The toughest task was finding big inner tubes to float on. My parents were largely unaware that on hot summer days, we would load up in cars full of inner tubes and friends, drive to the river, and drift down the freezing, mostly slow-moving water without lifejackets.  On one particular day, we were going down a river that had a small waterfall.  Each of us in turn would ride the waterfall, one at a time, and watch and wait as the others would go.  I was among the first to go and then others until my brother Sam went last.  He was the only one to wear glasses at the time and had broken myriad sets through the years playing sports.

He carefully drifted up to the waterfall’s edge and then went over riding and then falling off the tube as he plunged into the water.  We were all standing at the bottom waiting for his appearance when he bobbed his head up some 30 feet or so down river.  He yelled, “I lost my glasses and almost my life!”

I think it was the order in which he said it, I’m not sure, but it still stands in my mind as one of the funniest things I have ever heard. The bad news is that he lost his glasses. I understand that as I am lost without mine! The good news is that he lived without any broken bones or skull fractures.  I smile because he is alive and well.

The Bible talks about good news.  The Holy Spirit is the one who helps us understand and receive it; The good news is that Jesus freely gave His life up for you and I so that “as many as have believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  When Jesus died on the cross, it was bad news.  The only ones laughing were the demons of hell.  The joke was on them however, as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.  Jesus’ crucifixion was bad news for Him; Good news for us.  I smile because the Holy Spirit has led me to the light. I smile because Jesus is alive and well.  I really smile because His death means my life; my eternal life.  No inner tubes needed.