Tuesday, August 18, 2009

His love is deeper still...

We are finishing up the overdue blogging on The Hiding Place. We come to chapter 14 where we find out the reason to be thankful for the fleas. Betsie is very sick and is assigned to knitting where she stays in their barracks all day. Corrie comes in one day from working and Betsie has news. She tells her how they needed a guard to come in to the barracks to clear up some confusion, but the guard refused to come in to check on them because of the fleas. They had so much freedom to discuss the bible all because of fleas. God certainly does work in mysterious ways. Betsie not only reminded Corrie but all those who read this story, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for everything...even fleas."

Corrie continues to tell us the ins and outs of the camp life as harsh winter sets in. Corrie describes to us a time she goes through when she does selfish things in secret and she becomes unahppy with worship time. One day she reads from Paul and realizes the way she has been acting and renews her faith all over again. Corrie continues to help Betsie teach and reach out to the women who need to know God's love. But Betsie is getting much more sick and ends up in the hospital twice more. Betsie tells Corrie the mission they are to have. A house with gardens to help those affected by the war and a camp like the one they are in but painted green with flower boxes to teach others to love again. She reminds Corrie that they have to tell people all about what happened and about God's love. Betsie tells her, ".... We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us Corrie, because we have been here." Corrie listens and wonders when all this will happen. Betise assures her that they will be out of prison by the new year and that they will do it all together. The only thing is that Betsie left the camp a different way than Corrie. This last time in the hospital, Betsie went home to her Father's house. Corrie was upset of course but happy because she knew she had the hope of Heaven and would see Betsie again one day.

In our final chapter, two days after the death of Betsie, Corrie gets some good news. She is to be discharged as soon as her Edema in her legs stops swelling. Getting this news so soon after Betsie's death gets her wondering of all the "what ifs?" What if Betsie hadn't died so soon? What if she could have been able to be discharged too? But as Corrie runs through all this she is also reminded from deep in her soul, "There are no "ifs" in God's Kingdom. His timing is perfect. His will is our hiding place." And Corrie quickly prays, "Lord Jesus, keep me in your will. Don't let me go mad by poking around outside it." How often do we let the "what ifs?" of the world take over? Do you let it cloud your mind and vision to the point it's all you can think about? As you have finished up reading I pray that we can all remember to not go poking around outside God's will. Corrie tells us of her release and her trip back to the Beje. She describes to us for a while how even though she kept busy she felt like something was missing. She finally realized the missing part of her was Betsie. She decided it was time to start doing like what Betsie had said and tell others about their story in Ravensbruck.

Corrie tells us how one of the times she was speaking, a wealthy woman approached her and ended up offering her estate for Corrie to use for Betsie's dream. As Corrie went to see the estate she realized it was exactly as Betsie had described. It was amazing how much God had reveled to Betsie back at the camp and Corrie was in awe. Many used the house, those who had been in camps or in hiding. Corrie wanted those that had betrayed their countrymen, NSBers, to be able to benefit from the home too, but it would take more time. She opened her home to the NSBers who had betrayed their county. Eventually planting did help teach others how to love again and those at the house began to listen to Corrie about the people at the Beje who needed love too.

At one time Corrie is speaking and learns the lesson she is preaching herself. She meets a former SS guard that she recognizes from the camp. Instantly she fills with hatred but says a prayer for help, "Jesus Christ had died for this man. Was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I cannot forgive him, please give your forgiveness." She was able to shake the hand of the SS guard and a realization came over her. Here is what she says,

"And so I discovered that it is not our forgiveness any more than our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."

This spoke volumes to me. How often do we get hung up on forgiving others? Or caught up in disliking those we can't stand? I've heard it said many times before in many ways, "I could never forgive them for what they did." or "OH I can't stand her, how I would like to tell her a thing or two." Can you think of a phrase similar to these that you have said or heard yourself? I know the Bible tells us what Corrie is saying but the story she tells us and the way she phrases it is eye opening. It's like a "duh" moment. And duh moments are not necessarily a bad thing. When we reach a realization it means that change is taking place and more often than not, for the better.

Corrie finishes up her story to us as she tells about how she was approached to help with another one of Betsie's dreams. She is taken to an old camp that was found to be used for her work. Instantly she tells them that they will need window boxes and yellow-green paint, the color of new things coming in the spring, just like how Betsie had described.

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