When I was in grade 8, we took about six weeks to exclusively study the Holocaust in English. We read many novels, we watched movies like “Schindler’s List,” and we did lots of practical exercises to dramatize the Jewish experience during that dark period of history. At the end of it, we even had the privilege of hearing a Holocaust survivor speak at our school. This is a memory I will always cherish, as most survivors have now passed. Certainly, my children will never get to touch an arm that bears a numbered tattoo, a permanent, scarring reminder of evil incarnate. By the end of that six weeks, I had something of an obsession with the Holocaust – I wanted to understand more. I was jarred that I could never understand. It was during this time that I first read The Hiding Place, the story of a Dutch, Christian woman who hid Jews in Holland and ran an underground network for their escape.
The Hiding Place is Corrie Ten Boom’s own story of surviving the Holocaust. I reread this book for Project 100X30 because I remember loving it way back when I first read it and I loved it all over again, as I expected I would. Corrie tells the story of her own life & faith from her own perspective. She sets the stage for the traumatic loss of her life by describing what a beautiful, full, and simple life she enjoyed with her family pre-Holocaust. Corrie ends up enduring time in a concentration camp and it is there that she sees God provide miraculously and work faithfully through her. What I love most about this little book is the honesty Corrie brings to her story. She is real about the fact that her faith sometimes faltered, that she didn’t always want to trust, and that she often gave way to complaining (which, I mean, who wouldn’t in those circumstances right?). But, what her story proves time and again is that God will use us, sometimes in spite of ourselves, and especially when we yield to his will – even when we are in downright misery.
How often have I looked at an unfavourable circumstance and blamed God for it or complained about it, as though he has done something to punish me? How often have I accused him of not caring for me like he says he does? Perhaps the answer is that he has his own glory in mind in my circumstance. I have the opportunity to get out of the away and be part of his glorification & plan rather than focusing on my own desires.
Corrie went on to be a fantastic evangelist and speaker all over the world. We won’t know until we see Jesus how many came to know him because of her testimony and perseverance in the faith. I cannot recommend this book enough!