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. ■

Re­cently two friends got in touch to let me know about some pretty ma­jor events that were hap­pen­ing in their lives. First, Ina called to share that her daugh­ter had tested pos­i­tive af­ter be­ing leukemia-free for three years. She had just re­ceived the heart­break­ing news and was over­wrought with emo­tion when she called.

Later that same week, Su­san emailed me to say that her hus­band had un­ex­pect­edly been laid off. She was wor­ried that they might have to give up their new house since they were de­pend­ing on his salary to make the pay­ments.

I en­cour­aged both of them as best as I could and as­sured them that I’d keep them and their fam­i­lies in my prayers. While think­ing about my friends’ cir­cum­stances, I re­mem­bered that “Break Open in Emer­gency” sign that’s of­ten posted in pub­lic places, usu­ally above a glass box that has a fire ex­tin­guisher or a small axe for use in an emer­gency.

As Chris­tians, we have a “Break Open in Emer­gency” box too. I’ve found that tak­ing time to find refuge in Je­sus and His Word can bring me through. Je­sus said, “The words that I have spo­ken to you are spirit and life.” And through tak­ing time to

1 read God’s words and med­i­tate on them, we can find fresh spirit and life—no mat­ter how dis­cour­ag­ing our cir­cum­stances may seem.

When I called Su­san again to find out how things were go­ing, she replied, “Well, my hus­band hasn’t got­ten a job yet, but I’m not wor­ried. I feel sure God is go­ing to take care of us.The best news is that my hus­band came for­ward in church last Sun­day and was bap­tized.”

As it turned out, God didn’t fail this cou­ple fi­nan­cially ei­ther. By the end of the month, I’d heard again from Su­san that her hus­band had ac­cepted a good job with a multi­na­tional com­pany.

Then a text from Ina said that her daugh­ter was re­cov­er­ing rapidly af­ter chemo­ther­apy. Both of them had felt God’s pres­ence with them the whole time they were in the hos­pi­tal.

Each of my friends found God to be their “very present help in time of trou­ble” in unique and spe­cial ways. They held on to their faith so coura­geously dur­ing try­ing times, and God brought them through!

1. John 6:63 ESV

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