The Scripture Scout
Finding a Place to Hide When Life Seems Hopeless
"No Pit So Deep"
John 16:33, Psalm 61:3
If you have ever read the book or seen the movie about The Hiding Place or if you know anything of the Ten Boom family you are going to love this story. If you haven't, I guarantee you still. will. love it! It's pretty rad ... and it happened to me many moons ago.
In 1989 I was robbed in Amsterdam. I wasn't mugged or held at gunpoint or scared at all except that I didn't know how to pay to eat or get around that day. I only woke up from sleeping in hostel bed and noticed that all my money disappeared overnight even though I had put it "safely" under my pillow so that it would be close to me. Yeah, I know, I should have known better (you would never have done something that silly, I'm sure). But, that's not the part you'll love ...
I still had some transit passes in my front pocket since I had slept in my jeans, so I decided to take a quick trip over to Haarlem to visit the Ten Boom Haus ... the second time that semester in Europe. I felt safe there so returning was my first response to suddenly having no money. I knew I couldn't pay to do the tour and I went anyway.
Guess what? No one was on a house tour that day even though it was late morning (usually a busy time), so I ended up chatting with the guy selling clocks in the beautiful shop still there in the main floor. Then a sweet lady (sometimes a tour guide) heard what had happened to me from him and invited me up to the dining room to sit at the family table and have tea. She told me her name was Monique.
The family table!
Monique then read to me from that colossal family Bible that Casper ten Boom would read to his family at dinner before the Nazis found out about the secret place behind the wall. As she read she saw me crying and after a prayer suggested I rest because I was probably worn out. I was tired, yes, and I admit that the exhaustion probably accentuated the overwhelming sense of ... GOD. The Berlin Wall had come down only one month before when my friends and I had been on tour in Berlin. I'll save that story for another post! So yeah, walls were becoming less and less of a hurdle.
And then ... okay, she told me to lie down in Corrie’s old bed. I am not making any of this up. I don’t know why she said to me that was okay of all places. I mean, it isn't holy or anything, but, it just felt special and sweet and undeserved. I fell asleep for a brief nap staring at the big hole that is now in that hidden wall in order to see to that hiding place that saved many lives so many years before me.
"The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world."
I still remember that Monique had a son named Michael and that he had meningitis after working in Africa. He was in the hospital, and she was sick with concern, but after telling me about that she immediately went to a quote from Corrie’s sister Betsie. That brave sister had comforted a fellow prisoner who had been challenging the sisters' discussion of suffering. She said,
"There is no pit so deep that God isn’t deeper still."
I got a Christmas postcard from her that year, and that is precisely what it said. In fact, that is all it said. I do wish I still had that sweet reminder from Monique; I never heard from her again yet I prayed for her son. I last looked at that card after we lost a baby. But I haven't seen it since the 2010 Nashville flood took our home and we lost every earthly thing we owned. Oh yeah, a ton of stuff. All pelf. Not ours anyway. Neither was the child.
I did eat that day in Amsterdam. I have no idea what persuaded someone on the returning train from Haarlem to buy me lunch, but it happened. #yeahiknowitwasgod I got on the plane back to the states alone, but with my belly and my heart full.
So what on earth does this have to do with YOU? Everything really. Few of us have accounts as horrific as Corrie’s; I was simply broke in Amsterdam at the time. I had NOT suffered. I was NOT in fear for my life. It was just a silly inconvenience of disappearing cash that led to a reminder of what to do in difficulties to come in later years, horrible situations that would almost steal my soul, not my pocketbook. The things is, I do not doubt that you have some real events in your life that you would rather forget and may have almost stolen your soul.
"You have been a refuge for me;
a tower of strength against the enemy."
Psalm 61:3, NASV
Hide yourself in Him. Take your hurt, whatever it may be, and make something beautiful out of it. Somehow. I believe in you! God has definitely NOT forgotten you, and your suffering is precious to Him. So many accounts of those who survived those times in the second world war are stories of courage and strength and faith ... and even forgiveness. I've kinda fallen in love with suffering. I hate it. I want out of it. Bad. But I like the human that is me SO much better after it. Trust me, you will too.
Forge ahead and you will forge a diamond.
True peace does await you. I promise.
No pit is so deep that God ...
What do YOU know about Corrie and the ten Boom story?
What takeaways from her life resonate with YOU?
Please share with us in the comments below the video. :)
Stories of forgiveness are few concerning the Holocaust, but Corrie's resonates with many.
This video is only four minutes long; feel free to watch it now or at your leisure.
There is also a wonderful story relayed in The Miami Herald last year about Eva Kor, author and founder of the CANDLES Holocaust Museum & Education Center. I encourage you to READ IT HERE or salt it away for when you are having a struggle forgiving someone.
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