Oct 15, 2011

a hiding place

"You are my hiding place.
You protect me from trouble.
You surround me with songs of deliverance"
[Psalm 32:7]
****
You are my hiding place.
You always fill my heart,
With songs of deliverance.
Whenever I am afraid,
I will trust in You.

I will trust in You.
Let the weak say,
I am strong,
In the strength of the Lord
.
- Selah

Who better to pen such beautiful words than David, who spent years hiding from King Saul and his men. If anyone could call God a 'hiding place', it is David. Hiding in strange lands and caves, he knew what it meant to be protected from trouble because of God's ability to be a strong refuge for him.

Several years ago, I read the book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. Her story of persecution during WWII was sad, yet filled with God's faithfulness as a true hiding place amidst the hardest trials imaginable. I recently watched the 1975 movie version of the book and was greatly blessed by it and reminded of this heroic woman's story.

Corrie, her sister Betsie (in their fifties) and their 100 year-old father were Dutch Christians who opened their home to Jews that were hiding from the Gestapo during German invasions into Holland. A hiding place was constructed in Corrie's room by adding a wall behind her bed to create a secret room (more like a tiny closet) for the Jews to run to if the Gestapo where ever to enter the Ten Boom's home for questioning.

The day arrived when the hiding place was no longer used to practice drills, but for the real thing. The Jews hiding in the Ten Boom's home rushed into the hiding place as Corrie and her family where questioned, beaten, and taken to a prison. Those Jews were eventually able to escape after hours hiding in that little room.

What followed for Corrie and her sister Betsie was a long period separated from each other in dirty, isolated prison cells, and eventually, being transferred to the horrible Ravensbruck concentration camp for labor. They were reunited here and miraculously, Corrie was able to sneak a tiny Bible into the Ravensbruck. They used this Bible during the years in Ravesnbruck to minister to the ladies in their shack cabin. While severe beatings could have occurred if they were found for speaking about God, the shack was so infested with lice and fleas, the guards never stepped further into the shack than the doorway. Betsie was a constant encouragement for Corrie, reminding her to praise God even for the lice. For that was the only reason they were not discovered for holding small Bible study groups in the morning and night. 

Many amazing stories are told by Corrie in her book, and I am not going to tell them all, because my mere words would not do it justice. Find the book or watch the movie and be encouraged by these woman's ability to cling to God in the middle of the worst circumstances. One of my favorite quotes in the book is by Betsie:

"There is no pit so deep that His love is not deeper still"

 

Only someone truly clinging to Christ could say such words while slowly dying away from hunger, strenuous labor, and sickness. Yet, she found comfort in the shadow of the Almighty. How encouraging for those who are walking through their own valleys of darkness and stuck in deep pits of despair.

"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."
- Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie later on traveled to more than 60 countries talking about her experiences in Ravensbruck, but also presenting the gospel message of Jesus Christ [her book Tramp for the Lord explains many things God did in the years she was traveling and speaking].

 

"Amid many and varied trials, souls that love God
will find reasons for bounding, leaping joy.
Though deep calls to deep, yet the Lord's song
will be heard in silver cadence through the night.
And it is possible in the darkest hour that ever
swept a human life to bless the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ."
[Streams in the Desert]

For more info about Corrie Ten Boom:
  • read The Hiding Place & Tramp for the Lord
  • check this blog 
  •  sermonindex page with Corrie's messages
  • YouTube 'Corrie Ten Boom'

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Elle Alice