Are you ready to continue our discussion about the book The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom? If you have stumbled upon this post and not seen the first discussions of the intro pages and chapters one and two, you can pause reading here for a bit and go get caught up. I ask a million questions over there and would LOVE to hear your thoughts. I will wait right here while we get on the same page. (See what I did there?)
I was telling Jeremiah, my amazing hubby, that writing these studies has proven to be a bit more challenging than I thought they would be. I want to recap and tell every detail of each piece of the stories we have read together. Going over three chapters at a time is even MORE difficult. That’s three chapters of information that need to be deeply touched on. With that being said, I need you to promise me you will share in the comments pieces that stood out to you from these readings. I will be hitting a few highlights that stood out to me, but with each nugget I miss, you have GOT to bring it to the table. Deal? Okay good, I can move on now.
Chapter Three: Karel
Oh, for the love of LOVE. What a chapter. Did this rip your heart out a bit? Corrie, sweet Corrie, left heartbroken. She truly experienced love and had the dream of marriage and children, yet it wasn’t going to be part of her story. Sigh. How did you feel when she opened the door and saw Karl and his fiancé? It was like a gut punch, right? I wanted to run up the staircase with her and fall on the bed sobbing too. Have you ever experienced a broken heart? Go grab your notebook and write out your experience and how it made you feel.
Casper, her father enters the scene again. As always, I love the interaction they have with one another. Let’s read it together.
“Corrie”, he began, “do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain.”
“There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then, of course, part of us dies, too. Or, Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
“God loves Karel, even more than you do, and if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent, nothing destroy. Whenever we cannot love in the old, human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.”
Casper was such a great earthly example of our Heavenly Father. I think this so many times throughout the book, but especially in the interactions with his children. I love how Corrie mentions these words would later speak volumes to her when she was going through her darkest days. When there wasn’t, on a human level, anything to love at all.
Tante Jans and the Train Ticket
I do hope you are reading the book before checking out these study posts. If you aren’t, you are in for some major spoilers. You have been warned. Ahhhh, let’s talk about Tante Jans, shall we? What stood out to you about Tante Jans’ death? I LOVE how Corrie brought up the ticket story here and how someone who was so overly obsessed with death, had such peace in the moment. We mentioned this in our last post, but I do want to mention it again. Have you ever experienced peace in the middle of something you once feared? Would you write about it in your notebook?
Chapter Four: The Watch Shop
There are so many nuggets in this book of God’s miraculous works. It’s one of the main things that has always stood out to me each time I read it. When we were visiting the family home recently, I was standing next to a man in the Watch Shop, which is now a small bookstore. I saw he had The Hiding Place, this book in his hands, and I asked if he had read it before. He explained he had not, and honestly didn’t know much about her story. He was in the area and a friend from his church recommended he stop by. You know me, I then must go on and on about how this book is going to change his life. The only way I could describe it quickly, and not just narrate the book he was about to read, was to tell him there were SO MANY GOD NUGGETS of miraculous works scattered all through the book. Did you catch any in this chapter?
Fairest Lord Jesus
Yes, no, and Corrie. It was the only words Corrie’s mom could speak after the stroke. First, can we talk about the miracle of her living after this stroke, and waking after being in a coma for two months? Wow. Next, I love how the love of Jesus still flowed out of her life as she continued to have a heart for blessing others. She still remembered people and wanted to send letters of encouragement. Her once beautiful signature now looked quite different, but she kept encouraging. This made me think of an amazing lady who recently passed away that I went to church with when I was younger. When I heard she was sick, all I could think about was her smile, and her beautiful signature. I can close my eyes and see it right now. How do I know it so well? She would send cards to our family for the biggest, and smallest of occasions. I will never forget being in her kitchen one day and she pulled open a drawer to grab a card and I saw her stash. She was intentional in encouraging others with her written words. This is so inspiring. Does anyone come to mind when you think of the encouraging heart of Corrie’s mom?
Okay, let’s move on to another miraculous moment. A voice was restored. Corrie’s mom sings her favorite hymn word for word at the wedding. Oh my. Can you imagine? It’s like she touched Heaven in that moment, and she was healed and whole. It’s a glimpse at what she would be experiencing in only three short weeks. What a gift. A gift to her and a gift to the family. It was beautiful. Do you have a favorite hymn or song that’s etched in the fabric of your soul?
The Swapping of Work Roles
There is nothing more draining than working outside of your gifts, talents, and passions. Am I right, or am I right? Have you ever experienced this in your life? I worked as a nurse for a few years, and, ummmm, yeah, wasn’t in my wheelhouse. Hey, a noble profession, but this girl just wasn’t made for it. The moment Corrie realizes her love for business and organization and Betsie her love for homemaking, well, it thrilled my heart. THRILLED MY HEART. When you begin to work within your passions and giftings, everything changes. It’s effortless. You begin to thrive. You know what I’m about to say. Go grab your notebook and write out a few of your gifts, talents, and passions. Are these things part of your daily life? What weighs you down and drains you? Could you be working outside of your passions and gifts?
Was there anything else from chapter four that stood out to you? I have many sentences, if not whole paragraphs underlined in this chapter. Maybe I should have done a blog post for each chapter. Ahhhhh, bless my long-winded heart. I would love to hear about it in the comments.
Chapter Five: Invasion
Well, sadly we knew the ending of this story before we even began our time of reading. We knew this moment would come. The invasion of Holland. Did anything stand out to you regarding Casper and his feelings about the possibility of war? Ding, Ding, Ding. Did you say he had great discernment? We have been able to see he was far from a pessimist. He knew in the depths of his soul something was about to go down. While he could have brushed it all off and hoped for the best, he knew, and he wasn’t going to sugarcoat it.
Do you regularly pray for discernment in your life and the lives of those in your family? I believe it’s vital we ask for discernment and seek after discernment. When we ask and seek, I am confident we will find it.
I love the honesty of Corrie and how she is totally fine showing her true thoughts and feelings in situations that go down. For instance, on the first night of the bombing, she is kneeling at the piano bench with Betsie, and they are praying for their country. Betsie begins to pray for the Germans up in the planes, and that the Lord would free them from the grips of evil. Corrie immediately is honest with the Lord and begs him to listen to Betsie and not her prayers, because she simply can’t pray for those in the planes. I get her. Praying for our enemies isn’t a piece of cake. Would you find it hard to pray the prayers Betsie prayed?
He Goes Before Us
Visions and dreams. So what did you think about the vision Corrie saw twice of her family in the cart being taken away? It was so clear to her, down to specific people who were with her. Betsie seemed to be a lot like her father. I love what she tells Corrie when the vision is shared with her. Let’s read it below.
Corrie says, “Am I imagining things because I’m frightened? But it wasn’t like that! It was real. Oh Betsie, was it a kind of vision?”
Then Betsie says….
“I don’t know, “she said softly. But if God has shown us bad times ahead, it’s enough for me that He knows about them. That’s why He sometimes shows us things, you know, to tell us that this too is in His hands.”
Wow. Peace and confidence oozes out of these words. It blows my mind. I believe it’s these moments that remind me of the power that comes with full confidence and faith in the Lord. He goes before us is all Betsie needed to know. It was all that mattered. If He goes before us, and we know we walk with Him, that’s all that matters. Oh, how the faith of this family inspires me. What are your thoughts on all this? Did it touch you as much as it did me?
Let’s switch gears and talk about another instance the Lord went before Corrie. The night she woke up and heard Betsie downstairs making tea. You remember this part of the story, right? She went down and decided to join her. While they were there talking, there was a big explosion, and later, when Corrie went back up to her bedroom, there was a piece of jagged metal laying on her pillow. Here again, we see the confidence Betsie has that the Lord goes before us. Let’s read this part together where Corrie is discussing this moment with Betsie.
“Betsie, if I hadn’t heard you in the kitchen…”
But Betsie put a finger on my mouth. “Don’t say it, Corrie! There are no “ifs’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety. Oh Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!”
Again, I love the faith and hope they have in Jesus.
Here I Am, Use Me
Okay, let’s wrap up this post. I love that you are committed to hanging in there through the length of these studies. Let’s be real, I could make them five million times longer. With that said, let’s finish this one up.
Here I am, use me. This family has walked so close to the Lord. Eighty years for Casper, and fifty-plus for the sisters. They have loved Jesus and loved others deeply. It doesn’t surprise me when they know there is no other option they would ever choose, but the decision to help others. This begins to be a topic of conversation. They didn’t decide in the heat of the moment, but it was a conversation they began to have around the dinner table before the possibility ever arose. It was the moments when they saw injustice and something inside them rose to the table. Sadly, they were not the norm. While yes, there were others out there who helped during this time, many were so afraid of what would be done to them, they not only decided not to help, but they also had no issues completely turning on the Jews in their community.
I love the prayer Corrie prays at the end of this chapter. “Lord Jesus, I offer myself to your people. In any way. Any place. Any time.”
Sigh. This book touches me deep down into my very soul. How about you? Could we say that? Do we say that? I mean we may say I offer myself to your people, but “in any way”, “any place”, “any time”. Wow. When the way, place, and time turn into concentration camps, gas chambers, lice-infested beds, and the death of family members, well, can we say that? I have mentioned this before, but even Corrie questions what she would have done had she known. Maybe this is why the Lord doesn’t always give us the full picture when we desperately want to know the full plan. We simply do what He puts before us each day and rest in the words Betsie spoke, we know the days are in His hands.
Alright. It’s your turn. I have talked and talked and talked. Or wrote and wrote and wrote. Now I want to hear from you. What all stood out to you in these chapters? I left a lot on the table, so bring up some topics and pieces of the story I missed.
I can’t wait to see you back in our next discussion. Go read up on chapters six, seven, and eight, and come back here and let’s chat about it. I’m so thankful we are walking this book out together.