The raid, the prison, and the lieutenant. These are the three main focuses as we discuss the next three chapters of The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. It was hard to put the book down during this piece of the book, right? It wouldn’t surprise me if you went ahead and finished the book in one sitting after reading these chapters. You know the drill by now. Go grab that notebook you’ve been taking notes in, (remember, I like to ask a million questions), and let’s dive into this next-to-last post. Our next post will be our final post, covering the remainder of the book. I am so thankful you took the time to walk through this study. I pray the book is blessing you as much as it has blessed me. Okay, let’s dive in.
Chapter Nine: The Raid
The chapter opens with Corrie sick in bed with the flu. We’ve all been there before, haven’t we? Your body is sore. You are weak. The fever is sucking the life out of you. You have zero energy. You can’t think straight. It’s a horrible feeling. These are the conditions Corrie was facing when she was approached by someone who stated they were in need. If you remember this moment in the book, she states there was something about this man’s behavior that made her hesitate. She then goes on to say, she couldn’t risk being wrong, so she agreed to help. I immediately wondered if she hadn’t been sick, would she have listened to that hesitation? I then, of course, hear Betsy’s words that there are no “what ifs in God’s Kingdom”. Did that thought cross your mind too?
Sadly, Corrie’s discernment was correct, and it wasn’t long before the raid began in their home. I have been thinking a lot lately about discernment. It’s in times of weakness that we can begin to question our discernment. Can you think of times in your life when there was a check in your spirit about something or a hesitation, but the moments of weakness shouted louder? We don’t live in condemnation, but we can learn from situations that have unfolded in our lives to give us wisdom in the days to come. Think about this and journal your thoughts in your notebook.
Miracles in the Chaos
Some may wonder if God was present in the middle of all this chaos happening with the raid. If you look close enough, you see it. The healing of Mary’s breathing at a very critical moment. A specific prayer that Corrie prayed, and He answered. The secret room itself was a miracle in the way it was constructed and fit perfectly for this moment. Corrie and Betsy are physically abused by officers, yet somehow, they still show grace and love. I believe the vision God gave Corrie of her family being carted off was a miraculous sign of God. While it was chaos, how comforting to know the Lord already held those days in His hands. He was present in the chaos. Have there ever been periods in your life when although it was chaotic, it was evident the Lord was present?
Thou Art My Hiding Place and My Shield
Finally, we can’t move on to the next chapter without talking about the last family prayer gathering before the Ten Boom family was all split apart. Let’s read what Corrie says about this moment.
“When I got back the last time, a group had gathered around Father for evening prayers. Every day of my life had ended like this: that deep steady voice, that sure and eager confiding of us all to the care of God. The Bible lay at home on its shelf, but much of it was stored in his heart. His blue eyes seemed to be seeing beyond the locked and crowded room, beyond Haarlem, beyond earth itself, as he quoted from memory: “Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word…Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.”
I couldn’t quit thinking about how this family meditated on the word day and night. It was part of their routine daily. Time in the word, readings twice a day. Casper didn’t need the Bible in front of him, he had it etched into his heart. He had the word HID in his heart. It flowed from His mouth, from his life, from his actions. Oh Lord, may we never forget the importance of meditating day and night on YOUR WORD.
Has this family inspired you to dig deeper into your Bible? I can’t remember if I have shared this in the other postings, but when we were able to visit the Ten Boom family home, they had a Bible sitting out on the dining room table. I knew there was NO WAY this could be the actual family Bible, but I had to ask if the Bible was present somewhere in the home. I honestly wasn’t expecting a yes for the answer. The guide nodded over to a glass case as you walked down the steps, and there it was, I couldn’t believe it. I sat and stared at it. I also took a million pictures, but they did request that we not share pictures from inside online. Sigh. I need you to know how difficult this is for me not to share pictures, but I guess this means you will have to visit there one day yourself. It will be worth it, I promise.
Chapter Ten: Scheveningen
We had our last interaction with Casper at the opening of this chapter, and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite moments. I can’t think of any last words that would be more fitting. Let’s read it together.
Suddenly the chief interrogator’s eye fell on Father. “That old man!” he cried. “Did he have to be arrested? You, old man!”
William led Father up to the desk. The Gestapo chief leaned forward. “I’d like to send you home, old fellow,” he said. “I’ll take your word that you won’t cause any more trouble.”
I could not see Father’s face, only the erect carriage of his shoulders and the halo of white hair above them. But I heard his answer.
“If I go home today,” he said evenly and clearly, “tomorrow I will open my door again to any man in need who knocks.”
That was his moment. He could have been free. It didn’t surprise me one bit that this was his answer. I bet it didn’t surprise you either!
The Most Prized Possessions
If we haven’t realized to this point how much the Ten Boom family clung to the Word of God, we see it again when Corrie is sent to a doctor for evaluation. When she arrives, the nurse asks if there is any way she can help. Can we just pause right here and understand how much the Lord was using this nurse in the lives of others? She was shining light in the middle of dark moments. She was offering pieces of hope. Corrie asks FIRST for a Bible, then a needle and thread, soap, and a toothbrush. It’s her moment to ask for anything, and this is what she requested. It brings things into perspective, right? The necessities are the most prized possessions. The needle and thread, soap, and toothbrush we understand being necessities, but I LOVE the Bible was considered one too. Let’s read the words she wrote about her time with the Gospels this nurse gave her.
As my health returned, I was able to use my eyes longer. I had been sustaining myself from my Scriptures a verse at a time; now, like a starving man, I gulped entire Gospels at a reading, seeing whole the magnificent drama of salvation.
It truly is the Bread of Life!!!!
I mention this in each post, but I could write on and on about every chapter. There are so many nuggets of wisdom and takeaways. What stood out to you in this chapter as Corrie is sharing her experiences with prison life? It’s here she learns the “watches” in the closet are safe. What a miracle they made it out of the secret room. She learns of her father’s death. She’s placed in a cell all alone. She battles the enemy of thoughts. Thinking about the bag she left at home and all the comforts that would have brought her. What moments of her time in prison stood out to you?
Chapter Eleven: The Lieutenant
It was the tulips that caught Corrie’s eye at hut number four. She recognizes there is something special about this hut and even prays, “Lord, let me go to hut number four.” Something was drawing her, of course, we now know that was the Holy Spirit. The Lieutenant in the hut was seeking something, even if he didn’t know it fully yet, and Corrie was being led there to help him find what he was looking for.
I love the prayer Corrie whispers as the Lieutenant is welcoming her. “Oh Lord, let no weak gullibility on my part endanger another’s life.” I wonder if this stems from her thinking about her last moment of weakness and what it led to? Lord, please don’t let it happen again. Watch my words. As the conversation continues and he strikes a nerve with Corrie, she is surprised with the words that come out of her mouth. I wonder if she thought the Lord had forgotten the prayer she prayed, or she had fallen prey to weakness. Let’s read them together.
“The truth is sir,” I said, swallowing, “is that God’s viewpoint is sometimes different from ours, so different that we could not even guess at it unless He had given us a Book which tells us such things.”
I knew it was madness to talk this way to a Nazi officer. But he said nothing so I plunged ahead. “In the Bible, I learned that God values us not for our strength or our brains but simply because He has made us. Who knows, in His eyes a half-wit may be worth more than a watchmaker. Or, a lieutenant.
The Lord used Corrie’s words that day to spark something inside this man. Only God could orchestrate a relationship between a Lieutenant and a prisoner. Days later he asks Corrie more about the Bible. What else is in this book? The seeking continues. Corrie speaks of light in the darkness.
“Is there darkness in your life, Lieutenant?” “There is great darkness”, he said. “ I cannot bear the work I do here.”
We don’t have to requote the whole book; you know the story. A relationship is formed, and the Lord begins to use Corrie in this man’s life. It’s one thing to tell him there is a light in the darkness, but it’s another for him to SEE IT THROUGH HER. She is shining bright in the middle of her darkness. Corrie could tell him about Jesus, but her SHOWING him Jesus is what made the greatest impact. The prisoner comforting the Lieutenant, who was in a prison himself. They did have something in common. The prisons just looked differently.
Has the Lord placed someone in your life who shined the love of Jesus brightly when you were walking through a difficult time? Take a second and write about it in your notebook. Ask the Lord to shine brightly through you in the lives of others. That is what we are called to do. Be salt and light.
The Final Prayer
Many people were drawn to the Ten Boom family over the years, but isn’t it amazing the Lieutenant was drawn to the whole family and had never been around anyone but Corrie? He would ask her stories about the family. He wanted to know more about each of them. All of this led to the organizing of the reading of Casper’s will. Oh, how this had to bring him joy to get all the family together in one room. What a gift that was being given to this family, AND the Lieutenant. He had witnessed the Light shining bright in Corrie, but now he got to see it evident in all the family members. How could this family shine so brightly? Jesus is the only answer. It was HIM shining through them.
I wonder if the Lieutenant knew he would make it into the final prayer the family prayed together in hut number four. Let’s read it together.
“Lord Jesus,” Willem said, “we praise You for these moments together under the protection of this good man. How can we thank him? We have no power to do him any service. Lord, allow us to share this inheritance from our father with him as well. Take him too, and his family, into Your constant care.”
An eternal inheritance. He was speaking it over this man’s life and his family’s lives. Aren’t you thankful we have that eternal inheritance we can pass down from generation to generation? Casper left earthly possessions to his children, but the eternal inheritance that was passed on, well, my word, it still goes on today. I realized this when we visited the family home, Let me share it with you, and then I will close this post down for the day!
It was a small group of us touring the Ten Boom home in Haarlem, I would say maybe 12 or so. We started by gathering in the piano room, where the worship meetings were held. The guide shared the story of this family because there were several who had never heard it before. The tour ended in the dining room, as we all stood around the table, the place where Casper opened the Bible to read from twice a day. The guide proceeds to talk about Jesus and the relationship we can have with Him. He even led a prayer of salvation. All these years later, the eternal inheritance is still being passed on. Yes, we were standing in the earthly possession that was passed down, but they knew we would soon leave this home, just like the Ten Boom family members, but the eternal would live on forever.
It’s time for us to wrap this thing up. You know what I need from you. I am begging to hear your thoughts on these chapters. We could talk for days. So, tell me, what did I miss that stood out to you? What spoke to you in these chapters? What marked you? What opened your eyes? I would love it if you would tell me in the comments.
Let’s finish up the book, shall we? The next post will be our final post and it will cover the remainder of the book. So hurry up, go finish it, and let’s discuss it. If you have missed the other readings, you can check them in the links below.
I’ve enjoyed our time together! Can’t wait to see you back in our final post.