One of my favorite people of history would definitely have to be Corrie Ten Boom. Do you know her? Have you read any of her books? I remember seeing the movie "The Hiding Place," as a child and remember being swept away at what amazing things that anyone can do if they have God on their side. She, her sister and father hid many Jewish people in their home during the Holocaust, right inside Corrie's closet. All three of them were sent to concentration camps and only Corrie survived. She survived and even went back to many of these concentration camps proclaiming God's Word. Talk about making beauty out of ashes! When I was in seventh grade, we were required in English class to do a report about a famous historian. I chose her, to the dismay of my English teacher. He said it could not be done, there was not enough material on her life, and it was a waste of time. However, with the encouragement of my parents, I found a lot of information on her and I was able to share about Christ to my class, through her life story. I was nervous, but thankful that God put it on my heart to share her life, a life focused on Jesus and serving Him to my class. She and her family were always a reminder to me during so many hard times in my life that God can use you, no matter what circumstance He puts you in. He has a purpose! The Ten Booms saved many people from concentration camps, praise God, though they had to endure it themselves. Since they were there, they were able to share the gospel with the women they met and I am sure God used them as the voice to change the hearts of many.
One of my favorite devotional books is by Corrie Ten Boom called, "Anywhere He leads Me." http://www.alibris.com/booksearch.detail?invid=11115776693&browse=1&qwork=365432&qsort=&page=1
It's a super easy read, just a few verses and then excerpts from her books that appropriately go with the verses. The one I read yesterday was from the verses of Psalm 119:92-106, which is one of my favorite parts of Psalm 119. Here are the verses:
If your law had not been delight,
I would have have perished in my misery.
I will never forget your precepts,
for by them you have given me life.
I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
The wicked lie in wait to destroy me,
but I consider your decrees.
I have seen a limit to all perfection,
but your commandment is exceedingly broad.
Oh, How I love your law!
It is my mediation all day long.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,
for it is always with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged,
for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way,
in order to keep your word.
I do not turn away from your ordinances,
for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Through your precepts I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it,
to observe your righteous ordinances.
Psalm 119:92-106, NRSV
She goes on to talk about how she was back into Aufseherinnen, a concentration camp for women and there were women guards from the camp Ravensbruck, where she had been imprisoned. She was trying to teach these women about real freedom through Christ, but they looked at her speaking as "simple," for they were highly educated and "more profound in their theology" (pg. 21). She prayed about what to talk to them about and God laid on her heart "Chocolate." She happened to have some chocolate with her, and it was non-existent in Germany at that time. No one could get it, especially at a concentration camp. This is an excerpt from what happened next:
"The next day I set out for camp full of new courage. There they were, sitting once more in front of me, resistance and distaste on every somber face. But I said, "This is my last visit with you, and so I brought you a little treat--chocolate." How those faces lit up! What a luxury a piece of chocolate was to those poor prisoners! All at once we were friends. Some of them even asked me to write my name and address in their Bibles. When I began to speak, I said, "No one has said anything to me about the chocolate. No one asked whether it had been manufactured in Holland or what quantities it contained of cocoa, sugar, milk or vitamins. You have done exactly what I intended you to do: you have eaten and enjoyed it." Then I took up my Bible and said, "It is just the same with this Book. If I read about the Bible in a scientific, theological or scholarly way it does not make me happy. But if I read that 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life' (John 3:16, KJV), then I am really happy. God's Spirit was working. Barriers fell away and understanding and longing were born in the eyes before me, a hunger to hear more of that love that passes all understanding" (Ten Boom, page 22).
How could I paraphrase all of that, you would never see the impact like she had written! I pray I may be more like that, to read the Word of God and enjoy it, daily! I love the words above from Psalm 119 as a reminder of what God has done in my life and how He has kept me from paths that were destructible and kept me on His path. Praise Him for that!
I pray today that you are encouraged by this post and by the life of Corrie Ten Boom and her service to the Lord. What a blessing to share this with you today.