Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who lived in Haarlem, near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Her Father was a watchmaker, a craft he taught her. Together with the rest of the family they lived a good life there. But WWII intervened and many of the businesspeople and friends who lived and worked on their street were Jewish. As fear spread through Europe, some of the ten Boom’s neighbors came to them and asked to hide in their home. They lived above the watch shop. Over the course of the war not only did Corrie and her family hide people, but they also helped them escape. She believed what she and her family were doing was the will of God. They not only opened their home to Jews but also to members who were part of the resistance movement. They had a special room built in the family’s quarters that became known as the ‘Hiding Place’. She has written a book by this name and if you haven’t read it, check it out. It is estimated that over 800 Jews were saved by the ten Boom’s efforts.
The ten Booms were eventually betrayed and Corrie, her sister and their father were ultimately taken to Ravensbruck concentration camp. It was there that Corrie led Bible studies with a small testament she had managed to smuggle past many different guards, through searches and moves. Both Corrie’s father and sister died in prison. After the war Corrie returned to Amsterdam and once again began helping people. After she wrote ‘The Hiding Place’ she toured the world speaking about not only WWII but the hope she has in Jesus Christ. She even had an encounter at a speaking event in Germany with one of the cruel guards from the concentration camp. God gave her the strength to forgive this man. But she writes it was only with God’s help that she was able to forgive.
I came across another quote of hers the other day. And it is a good reminder for us. She wrote, “Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength…carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.” It is so easy to get caught up in worry. Some of us figure if we worry enough, the very thing we are worrying about will not happen. But many more of us just worry. We worry about health, relationships, work, family, the state of the country and world, how we will pay our bills. People use meditation, yoga, psychotherapy, and meds to calm their anxiety. And they all have their place but there is another place for us to go and that is the Bible. The very place Corrie and her sister went every day.
Think about the worry for the Israelites as they stood on the bank of the Red Sea watching the Egyptian army closing in. But God provided a way for them. And the early disciples who preached and lived-in worry over what the Roman authorities might do to them. God provided a way for them to continue serving Him as well. Members of the early church faced persecution on a daily basis and God made a way for them. Today is no different in some parts of the world. Those who follow Jesus and share with others live in great danger in 51 countries around the world. But God is still making a way for people to live and move and have their very being…in Him.
The message of the Bible to the worriers both then and now is this: God is our rock. He is our refuge and strength. He will make a way for us to move forward in His strength. Look at Matthew 6:27-28. “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to their span of life? And why are you worrying about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” If God takes care of the lilies in the field who many never see, how much more will He care for us? Or these words from John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” This is the peace that passes all human understanding, the peace only Jesus can give. When we rest in Him, when we let Him carry the burdens of our days, we will know that peace. And in that peace, we have no need to worry. God knows our needs and He has promised to never leave us or forsake us. That does not mean we will have smooth sailing for our lives just because we believe. It means we will have a place to turn when life gets challenging. And again, from Matthew: “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own troubles.” The thing is, we cannot do anything about what happened yesterday. That is why it is called the past. And we cannot do anything about tomorrow, the future. We live today. It is a gift which is why it is called the present. This is the day that the Lord has made. We have new mercies and another opportunity to draw closer to God…every day.
Please allow me to leave you with Paul’s words. “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W