By Jo Wilmer
“God does not have problems, only plans,” were the words Corrie ten Boom said when a clerical error allowed her to be released from a Nazi concentration camp one week before all women prisoners her age were executed. After her release from the horror of the Ravensbruck concentration camp, Corrie continued to live with a remarkable reliance on God. This was the same faith and strength that her family had, when they hid Jews from Nazi terror in their home in Haarlem, Holland. During World War II, her family home became a place of refuge, a hiding place, for Jew’s and those being hunted down by the Nazi army.
When I was new in this walk of faith, I was drawn to read the words of Corrie ten Boom. With amazement I came to love and admire the inner strength and faith of this woman. I wanted to have a small portion of what she seemed to have within her. I wanted to learn more about the heart of the woman who gave herself wholly into the hands of her Saviour. Her chilling and horrendous circumstances make my trials minuscule in comparison. How can we have joy in the midst of our circumstances?
Then I think about a smuggled Bible, that became a source of blessing and strength for Corrie while incarcerated. This Bible that she miraculously hid, was used to hold worship services and many women came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. Yes, Corrie had her eyes focused on the Lord and not on the circumstances around her. Remember when Peter looked at circumstances rather than focusing his eyes on Christ?
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? (Matthew 14: 29-31)
We cannot keep one eye on Christ and one eye on the circumstances around us. We must keep both eye’s focused directly ahead on Christ that this world may not steal our “inner” joy. This world may make us unhappy and bring us sadness and tears, but if we stay focused on Him, the world cannot steal our inner joy. This inner joy is what Corrie had mastered. She had set her focus, almost like a pilot sets the plane on auto-pilot. She stayed on course and did allow her eye’s to veer off course. Oh, how I long to master this focus. I pray that the things of this world will not divert my attention from Christ.
Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord. (Psalms 25:15)
Even in death, Corrie Ten Boom was a blessed woman. I have read that according to the Jewish tradition, only very blessed people are given the special privilege of dying on their birthday. Corrie Ten Boom died on her 91st birthday, April 15th 1983.
May we thank the Lord our God for women of strong faith like Corrie Ten Boom, who left a wonderful legacy to strengthen and encourage us.
About this Guest Author:
Jo Wilmer and her husband Bill have been married for over 30 years. Together they have taught under Child Evangelism Fellowship and neighborhood Bible studies.
In 2004, JoAnn began writing “We Travel Together,” a book aimed at encouraging and strengthening other women who were trying to live a godly life while facing all this world had to throw at them. A few months later, she and her husband were involved in a head on collision which turned their world upside down. Health issues, financial issues and emotional pressures all seemed to be hurled at them. After four and a half years of pain and pleading prayer, her prayers were answered and relief from pain was almost total. Finally, in 2012 she finished the book which she felt led to write. Now more than ever, she desires to reach the lost and hurting women who are searching for relief. Relief found only through Jesus Christ.
In 2005, she created her website, “M” Words, an outreach to those hurting women. Her passion is to draw sister’s in Christ closer, to make them more aware of the hurting women around them and of those who still need to be rescued by the saving grace of Christ. You might also enjoy JoAnn’s ebook “We Travel Together”, you can order it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007Z8MBDO