Silent companions

By Eric Huang

Peace to you, Brother Jun!

Remembrance Day is already near when I write this letter to you, as unknowingly, many people are wearing the red poppy. It reminds me of what happened around this time many years ago. I worked in downtown Toronto and had to take the GO Train to travel between Barrie and Toronto every day. One day I rode the GO Train home after work as usual. I was reading ‘Our Daily Bread’ and jotting down my thoughts when a middle-aged lady who sat behind me all of sudden tapped my shoulder and asked me in English,

“Hi there, I wonder if you are reading this month’s ‘Our Daily Bread’?“

“Yes,” I answered. “How do you know? ”

“I don’t know your writings, but I recognize the cover picture of the booklet you’re reading. It is the same as mine.”  And she showed me her English version.

“Yes, ‘Our Daily Bread’ has been translated into many different language versions.”

From our conversation, I knew she was a Christian. She and her family went to a Baptist church in Barrie.  We saw each other on the train for the few days that followed. We chatted and had some sharings. She worked in downtown TD bank as a department manager of the IT department.

She sat behind me again the evening before Remembrance Day. However, she told me she would not ride the train to work again before she got off.

“Why?”  I rushed to ask her.

She paused for a while, then smiled and said, “I lost my job, starting next week. So today is my last day of work.” She said that with a neutral expression as if nothing were the matter.

I remember not knowing how to respond and not knowing why I felt so sad. I knew that the lady had three children, one in university and the other two in high school. She had a significant burden at that time, yet she lost her job. When she saw that I did not say anything, she said calmly, “You know what! I am thrilled, and thank God. He let me end the days of spending four hours rushing about on the road and being out of the house for twelve hours every day. Now, I can stay home and enjoy the time to be with my kids. It is the best arrangement from God.  God’s plan is always good for me.”

Worry is a part of human nature. If a person never worries, he is either foolish or mentally abnormal. In general, an average person worries. Positively speaking, knowing to worry is God’s working for our good. We who are in the Lord should have peace from God because we have the Lord in our lives. The presence of the Lord guarantees stability in our lives. As God has promised to be with us, He is with us.

I suddenly moved with tears. However, I couldn’t find any words to say. But whatever she had said greatly encouraged me. I witnessed in her that those who walk with God will have no fears.  God’s plan is the best, and He is the most trustworthy.  “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10) This passage tells us about four amazing promises of God: not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, and not destroyed. As children of God, we know God still prepares a way out for us, even in the most desperate situations. He has set boundaries and will not allow us to suffer beyond what we can bear. Though we will not suffer less than others, God’s grace increases along the way. His grace is always greater than suffering, hope is always greater than despair, and He always provides a way of escape for us.

From then on, I prayed for her and her family daily and asked God to take care of them. Although many years have passed, and we did not see each other again, God has united us as silent companions.

This experience helps me understand that whoever belongs to God, although he is hard-pressed on every side yet, with the presence of God, there is peace and security within while he waits for God’s time and provision. We live in this world and know God is in control. He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him.

Thank you!  May God bless you!