Corrie ten Boom and her family boldly risked their lives to hide Jews in their home during World War II. After betrayal by a fellow Dutch citizen, they were sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Corrie was the only member of her family to survive the horror.
“I could never do what she did,” I thought.
I lay in a hammock under the shade of a maple tree in late summer. The breeze danced along my sandaled feet and through my hair. Birds serenaded one another, their melodies singing of their magnificent Creator. The stark contrast between my setting and the author whose book I was reading didn’t go unnoticed.
I was free; she was captive. I was reclined, comfortable; she was in cramped, cold barracks. The sun kissed my skin; fleas ravaged hers.
The woman I speak of is Corrie ten Boom. Corrie and her family boldly risked their lives to hide Jews in their home during World War II. After betrayal by a fellow Dutch citizen, they were sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Corrie was the only member of her family to survive the horror.
I learned about Corrie when a sister in Christ gifted me her bestseller, The Hiding Place. Page after page, each word cut straight to my heart. Minutes passed where I’m not sure I blinked. Her testimony gripped my heart in a way no other person in history has.
In some of the darkest, most evil circumstances in human history, Corrie planted her feet on the firm foundation that is Jesus Christ. She taught me the following sweet truths about suffering under God’s sovereign care:
1. Suffering ignites our desire for heaven.
Dear Jesus . . . how foolish of me to have called for human help when You are here. To think that Father sees You now, face to face! To think that he and Mama are together again, walking those bright streets. . . (170)
When God blessed me with The Hiding Place, I needed more eagerness for heaven. At the time, my mind was consumed by thoughts of the frailty of life. I desired to confidently declare that I wasn’t afraid of my loved ones dying or suffering but I couldn’t.
Death and suffering encircled Corrie in every corner of the extermination camps. She witnessed men, women, and children extinguished by hatred’s hands. And yet, Corrie submitted her fears to the Father’s care. She grieved evil’s effects but found hope for eternity through suffering.
How often we forget—and ignore—that death is an act of God’s mercy. Death releases us from sin’s grip; death ushers us into the glorious presence of our Father and Savior King. The death of Christ brought us life (John 3:16); we will never die (John 11:26)!