Friday, August 8, 2014

My Fears, Corrie ten Boom's Strength

One day as I laid on my bed, curled up with a book, written by Corrie ten Boom, tears began to stream from my eyes and dampen my pillow. I could not stop reading and the tears would not stop flowing.

"I could feel Betsie's bony hand touching my face. It was pitch-black in Barracks 28 where seven hundred other prisoners were asleep. Each day hundreds of women died and their bodies were fed to the ovens. Betsie had grown so weak, and we both knew that death was always moments away.

"Are you awake, Corrie?" her weak voice sounded so far away.
"Yes, you wakened me."
" I had to. I need to tell you what God has said to me."

"...God showed me, " Bestsie said, "that after the war we must give to the Germans that which they now try to take away from us: our love for Jesus."

Bestsie's breath was coming in short gasps. She was so weak, her body wasted away until there was nothing but her thin skin stretched over brittle bones. "Oh, Betsie," I exclaimed, "you mean if we live we will have to return to Germany?"

Betsie patted my hand..."Corrie, there is so much bitterness. We must tell them that the Holy Spirit will fill their hearts with God's love."  (Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom: page 39)

The tears filled my eyes so that I could no longer read. As I put the book down, wiped my tears, I cried out to God, "I'm too afraid to go alone." I was not crying because Corrie and her sister Betsie were in Ravensbruck, Concentration Camp during World War II. My eyes did not create tears of amazement over Betsie's unconditional love for God and even her tormentors. I cried because I knew that as Betsie said those words to Corrie, they believed they were both going to live and travel together sharing the love of Jesus with the world. But Betsie died a few days after she spoke her God given vision to Corrie. Corrie lived. She was freed from the concentration camp. She returned home to an empty house, reminded that her family was killed by the Germans in the camp. She took hold of Betsie's vision and traveled the world alone for thirty years humbly sharing the precious love of Jesus with anyone who would listen.

I cried because I couldn't do it. I laid there thinking how afraid I would be to be all alone.
No father. No sisters. No home.
Only Jesus and a vision.
Could I obey?

"Now my father was dead. Only my Heavenly Father remained. I ran my hand over the door, letting my fingers explore the cracks. It was no longer my hiding place. Others lived here now, and the world was my classroom, and my only security came in knowing that underneath were the Everlasting Arms. How thankful I was for my Heavenly Father's strong hand around mine." (Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom: page 32)

"Thank you, Jesus, that I am alive," I said,
In my heart I heard Him reply, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:30).
I stayed there for long minutes as the hands on the face of the cathedral tower pealed forth once again, this time with the sounds of Luther's famous hymn "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." I listened and heard myself singing the hymn, not in Dutch, but in German: "Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott."
"How like You, Lord, "I half-chuckled, "that You would remind me of Your grace by letting me hear a German hymn."
A policeman passed, looked at me, and spoke a friendly word.
I said, "Good-night, Policeman. A mighty fortress is our God. "
I was free."   (Tramp for the Lord, Corrie ten Boom: page 33)

I cried thinking about Corrie going home to Holland to see her empty childhood home. Her father, sister and relatives all dead. She was alone. Alone for the first time in her life. Alone with a vision planted in her heart by her sister who was no longer with her. I cried thinking about how sad, lonely, afraid she must have been, and yet, she moved. And yet, she stirred. And yet, she obeyed.

My own fears have crippled me many, many times. I think, "There is no way I could have traveled the world alone especially when Bestie's dream had been the two of them side by side sharing the Gospel." People have told me how brave they think I am. People have told me that I am a woman who can do anything I set my mind to. I have even been told how courageous I am. But I just laugh. I am afraid of my own shadow! The only times, and I mean the absolute only times, that I have forged through my forest of fears and completed a task was simply because I was convinced that God had asked me to do it. Without God I am nothing. Without God I can accomplish nothing.

I cried thinking, "What if God asked me to travel and spread the Word of God and His love to the nations all by myself?" I really do believe I would obey, but I know too that the fear would be so terribly great and I hated to even think of it. I know God wants me to think  about my fears, put them before Him and deal with them. He may never ask me to travel alone, to speak to large crowds, to love my tormentors, but He wants me ready to if He should ask.

Dear Lord,
My life is in your hands. Make me as clay to be shaped by the Potter. Form me, and change my heart to be ready to follow you and obey you no matter what fears I may have. Deal with my fears. Reveal them and may your perfect love drive them far from my heart. Build in me a stronger faith, a stronger trust in who you are, My Father-A Mighty Fortress. I love you, Jesus.
Your girl,


  1. "Do it afraid." It's a great quote I believe from Joyce Myers.. God never says we won't be afraid, but rather when we feel fear to put our trust in Him. Joshua 1:9 " Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Love you sister!