Praise for the weak things (or CTB lesson 1)

Renee Ann Smith —  March 21, 2011 — 51 Comments

She wasn’t young, beautiful, clever, or especially brave. So who could’ve guessed that an aging spinster who had rarely been away from home, would have such an impact on the lives around her . . . and for generations to come?

Corrie ten Boom never married, raised a family, earned advanced degrees, climbed the corporate ladder, won prizes, or even moved out of her father’s house. She was just an ordinary 1940’s woman, who spent her days cooking, cleaning, and caring for the poor and handicapped. She never saw herself as the cunning, super-agent type. But God, who loves to tap ordinary folks to accomplish His extraordinary purposes, used her in a mighty way as part of Holland’s underground resistance during WWII. For me, she exemplifies this truth from I Corinthians:

Corrie, age 80

“Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”

Not familiar with Corrie’s story?

The Ten Boom House

Born in Holland in 1892, she was 48 when the Nazi’s invaded in 1940. Corrie, her older sister, and elderly father risked their lives to take in Jewish refugees and hide them in a tiny room at the top of their house. Their story was recorded in a book called The Hiding Place and recreated in a movie of the same name.

Actually, The Hiding Place is much more than a harrowing tale of “agents” working for the underground resistance. Within its pages, Corrie shares how God worked in her life to prepare her for a special ministry during and after the war years.

From the time she was a little girl, Corrie’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. So I’d like to share them with you during the next weeks.

Here’s a summary of Lesson One in Corrie’s own words:

“God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours–so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things. In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.”

I’m thankful that someone helped Corrie write her story. Each time I read it, I’m reminded of what God can do with a willing heart. And that gives me hope for me! May her story bring you hope and encouragement, too! Many blessings, friends!

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

51 responses to Praise for the weak things (or CTB lesson 1)

  1. She is such an inspiration! Thanks for the post!

  2. Renee Ann, One of my favorite saints ever:) I can’t wait to meet her in heaven and hear more of her story. We need more Corries in the world. Thanks for paying tribute to such a precious person whose very ordinariness made her extraordinary.

  3. Thanks so much for spreading the word about this amazing woman!

    Also, speaking of amazing women of God…I recommend you read about Sand to Pearls, go here to read another blogger’s thoughts about it. Have an amazing rest of your day πŸ™‚


  4. She did fabulous things, but I wonder if she’d cringe to be described as an “aging spinster”?

    • I think those are words the society of her day would’ve used to describe her. And she described herself as not pretty or sought after. Also, I’m about the same age and unmarried–so I figured if she were here, she’d understand the contrast I was trying to make! I appreciate your tender-heartedness on her behalf, Joey πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you for the reminder! I’m a new follower from the Not so Moody Monday blog hop.

  6. Beautiful as usual dear πŸ™‚

  7. I just ordered the movie and downloaded her book:) Be interested in knowing some of your lessons plans for this story. My kids are much younger than your students so I will need to be very careful. I will screen the movie to see if the kids can watch it. I might just have to do a verbal retelling of the story with them. Thanks for the history lesson, someone really wants me to know this story:).

  8. God has been reminding me of this lesson through circumstances in my own life right now. I’m trying to remember that I can trust Him even when things look like they are going all wrong. God certainly does have a different viewpoint than me, and later on He may even let me in on what He is up to.

  9. What an inspiration! Stopping by from WW

    Frugally Green Mom

  10. Oh yes, I remember her. I must have heard her story before. What a lovely inspiration.

  11. Thanks for your comment today! I enjoyed browsing your blog today.

    God Bless!

    Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

  12. Tiffany Christie March 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Here from the bloghop.
    I follow you on GFC. I’d love for you to follow me back
    Tiffypoot @ (

  13. Corrie’s life story is indeed an inspiration. Thank you for sharing this and I’m looking forward to reading more about her in the future.

  14. I was inspired by your story, thanks for sharing. Visiting you through Thankful Thursday!

  15. Wow. what a fascinating story!
    What an inspirational woman. Thank you for telling her story.

  16. What a good idea to write about Corrie Ten Boom! I loved her story so much, I read it over and over again.

    There are many lessons to learn – for me, especially was when Corrie’s father explained that some knowledge is to heavy for her to carry, she must trust her Father to carry it for her.

  17. I’m a Jewish believer and The Hiding Place was one of the first books I read. In Israel there is a memorial in her name for her family hiding the Jews. She is a hero. An ordinary woman He used to become a hero to many.

  18. Thank you for writing about a beautiful woman. She wasn’t a success in the world’s definition of success but a hero in God’s version.

  19. This is an amazing woman, yes indeed it would be wonderful to sit and have talk to her for hours.
    God Bless,

  20. Hi Renee,

    As I read this, I thought of a song I once heard which talked about God using ordinary people to do His will. There is something which sounds so simple yet for me, it is quite profound: “In the Bible I learn that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us.” — How wonderful is the Living God!

    Blessings and peace.


  21. I have a women’s devotional Bible that includes devotions by her. What an inspirational post. Thanks for sharing her story with us!

  22. Such a special lady. One of God’s precious warriors.

  23. Hello! Following from blog hop! Would love for you to follow back πŸ™‚

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