Activated - - NEWS - By Dina El­lens Dina El­lens taught school in South­east Asia for over 25 years. Al­though re­tired, she re­mains ac­tive in vol­un­teer work as well as pur­su­ing her in­ter­est in writ­ing.

UN­EX­PECTED CHANGES HAVE NEVER BEEN EASY FOR ME, and last year was such a time. I was ex­pect­ing to be able to move closer to my son and his fam­ily, but found out that the sit­u­a­tion to which I was plan­ning to move was no longer a pos­si­bil­ity.

Dis­heart­ened, I paused to re­flect on my op­tions. Out­side the win­dow, it was a beau­ti­ful day, and I felt a gen­tle peace en­velop me.

I knew God was there for me, just as He was there for His cre­ation. The peace I felt had come from Him.

Who moved? I asked my­self. I knew God and His love hadn’t changed. It was my cir­cum­stances that had sud­denly changed af­ter the dis­ap­point­ing news, which left me feel­ing wor­ried and in­se­cure.

I’d been too fo­cused on my cir­cum­stances, too pre­oc­cu­pied with my up­com­ing move. Now that things had changed, I felt like my whole world was fall­ing apart.

I should have kept my fo­cus more on Je­sus.—That sim­ple truth came to me like a shaft of light pierc­ing the dark­ness. With all the ex­cite­ment and making plans for the move, I’d been ne­glect­ing my time with God and His Word.

I re­solved to change. The next morn­ing, I took my Bible along to the porch where I usu­ally sit to enjoy my cof­fee. I turned to Matthew 14, where the dis­ci­ples—al­though hardy sea­men for the most part—were ter­ri­fied by a storm that threat­ened to smash their boat and end their lives.

That is, un­til they saw Je­sus walk­ing on the wa­ter to­ward them.

That was my predica­ment ex­actly! I was let­ting the storms of this life throw me off course. What I needed to do was keep my eyes on Je­sus and trust that He would see me through.

Grad­u­ally, I started putting my life back to­gether. A friend asked me to help out at her bak­ery over Christ­mas. I vol­un­teered at an or­phan­age where the kids were definitely need­ier than I was. Within months, I had new friends and lots to do. My ear­lier dis­ap­point­ment had van­ished.

Through this ex­pe­ri­ence, I learned that God is not al­ways work­ing to­ward a par­tic­u­lar goal. Some­times, it’s the process that’s im­por­tant. Our faith gets tested in the midst of a storm, but that’s where we find Je­sus as our dear­est Friend. He prom­ises, “I will never leave you or for­sake you.”

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