Corrie ten Boom has long been one of my heroes. Since I’m taking a bit of a blogging break this week, I thought I’d re-share a story from her life that gave me perspective about how God works in mine. Even if you’ve read it before, may it bless you anew today!
Betsie, Willem, Nollie, Corrie
From the time she was a little girl, Corrie ten Boom’s godly parents and loving, happy family influenced the woman she would become. The lessons she learned from them have touched my heart and helped me grow, and I’d like to share them with you. In the following excerpt from The Hiding Place, Corrie shares one of the ways God prepared her for what was to come next:
In Corrie’s words . . . How long we clung together, listening, I do not know. The bombing seemed mostly to be coming from the direction of the airport. The glowing sky lit the room with a strange brilliance. The chairs, the mahogany bookcase, the old upright piano, all pulsed with an eerie light . . . It was war.
Betsie and I knelt down by the piano bench. For what seemed hours we prayed for our country, for the dead and injured tonight, for the Queen. And then, incredibly, Betsie began to pray for the Germans, up there in the planes, caught in the fist of the giant evil loose in Germany. I looked at my sister kneeling beside me in the light of burning Holland.
“Oh Lord,” I whispered, “listen to Betsie, not me, because I cannot pray for those men at all.” . . . And it was then that I had the dream. It couldn’t have been a real dream because I was not asleep. But a scene was suddenly and unreasonably in my mind. I saw the Grote Markt, half a block away, as clearly as though I were standing there, saw the town hall and St. Bavo’s and the fish mart with its stair-stepped facade.
The Grote Markt circa 1940
Then as I watched, a kind of odd, old farm wagon-old fashioned and out of place in the middle of a city-came lumbering across the square pulled by four enormous black horses. To my surprise I saw that I myself was sitting in the wagon. And Father too! And Betsie! There were many others, some strangers, some friends.
All together we were slowly being drawn across the square behind those horses. We couldn’t get off the wagon, that was the terrible thing. It was taking us away—far away, I felt—but we didn’t want to go . . .
“Betsie!” I cried, jumping up, pressing my hands to my eyes. “Betsie, I’ve had such an awful dream!” I felt her arm around my shoulder.
“We’ll go down to the kitchen where the light won’t show, and we’ll make a pot of coffee.” The booming of the bombs was less frequent and farther away as Betsie put on the water. Closer by was the wail of fire alarms and the beep of the hose trucks.
Over coffee, standing at the stove, I told Betsie what I had seen. “Am I imagining things because I’m frightened? But it wasn’t like that! It was real. Oh Betsie, was it a kind of vision?”
“I don’t know,” she said softly.“But . . . “
“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know—to tell us that this too is in His hands.” (click to tweet)
This past weekend, I was discussing this story with dear friends. We were bemoaning our “this too” experiences. God used Betsie’s words to change our perspectives. What comfort we received in knowing that God sends us to meet difficult times for our good and His glory!
What life story or wise words have inspired you lately? Has God blessed you with friends—either in your life now or gone before us into heaven—who have changed and challenged you? I invite you to give a shout out to your special ones in the comments below!
Read my previous posts about Corrie or purchase a copy of her book for yourself:
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