I just finished reading Corrie ten Boom’s memoir, The Hiding Place, written with John and Elizabeth Sherrill in 1971. Wow. And wow, again.
Corrie ten Boom was a Christian in Holland during the second World War. While she and her family were not as persecuted for their faith as the Jewish people were at the time, she did suffer persecution for serving others through with her faith. The ten Boom family focused on humble servitude and love. Showing this love manifested itself during this time by aiding Jewish families and becoming a part of the underground resistance to help others. The ten Boom is eventually caught and placed in concentration camps.
This book shares so many lessons of faith, hope, and ways that God guides us through pleasant and rough times. While it would take several posts to relay all these lessons learned, I was continually drawn back to two main things:
1. Living out your faith is the best example. Corrie is surrounded by amazing models of faithful people as she grows up. She draws on these examples for strength and focus throughout different circumstances in her life.
2. Reading Scripture is vital. The ten Boom family read Scripture each and every day, so they submerse themselves in it. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, continue to read even in the camps. Through constantly reading, they are able to pull verses from memory to apply to any situation, which helps renew their hearts and give strength. Plus, knowing it by heart makes the Word so much easier to share with (and serve) others.
I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes with you now from this memoir:
“I know that the experiences of our lives, when we let God use them, become the mysterious and perfect preparation for the work He will give us to do.” (pg. 15)
“…it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can beat it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” (pg. 26-27)
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings, Corrie. It’s something we make inside ourselves.” (pg. 33)
“And so I learned that love is larger than the walls which shut it in.” (pg. 48)
“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.” (pg. 63)
“My job was simply to follow [God’s] leading one step at a time, holding every decision up to Him in prayer.” (pg. 83)
“Perhaps only when human effort had done its best and failed, would God’s power alone be free to work.” (pg. 123)
“I would know again that in darkness God’s truth shines most clear.” (pg. 201)
“…it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.” (pg. 238)
I love, love, love the second and ninth quotes here. Of course, I love all of them, but those especially hit me powerfully. I’m greatly excited to read some of Corrie ten Boom’s other books. I hope these quotes peak your interest in reading this great telling of God’s love throughout her story.
Questions for you: Have you read anything from Corrie ten Boom? What is one of your favorite stories that leans on servitude and hope?
*Come back tomorrow for a special post that accompanies my guest post on (in)courage!