And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:16
After writing last week’s WMD on forgiveness, I thought I was randomly choosing a book to read. For years, Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place has been on my list to read. I figured it was finally time. I’m not finished, but have already read something that has and will forever stay with my heart and mind.
Corrie was a Dutch watchmaker. She learned the trade from her father. She is famous now for providing a hiding place for Jews during the German occupation of the Netherlands. I’m only about a third of the way through with the book. Corrie has just begun to protect the Jews by joining and participating in an entire system of protection provided by a national underground network. As soon as I type and send this, I’m looking so forward to picking back up where I left off.
When she was young, Corrie met a young boy named Karel. She knew the boy liked her and she sure liked him. She had her hopes up that they would be married. Her parents let her know that, from what they understood, that family was looking for their son to marry into wealth. Corrie still wanted to believe that he would still marry her. One day, Karel showed up to her house and introduced her to his fiancée. She was absolutely crushed. But, through talking to her dad (who I have already learned so much from), she was able to say a prayer that went something like this: Lord, I had an earthly affection for this boy. I give to You this love that I had and ask that You replace it with the love that You have for Him.
When that played in my mind, I just teared up and wept for a while. Corrie goes on to say that four years later, she realize that God had perfectly answered her prayer. She could pray for the couple and truly want the best for them both.
Immediately, I mentioned the names of the people who have hurt me the most. I said, “Lord, I had what I thought was a great friendship and a great trust amongst these people. I give you the love that I had for them and ask for You to replace that with the love that You have for them.”
Lord, You are amazing! The way You teach us and the timing that You have is an absolute miracle! Thank You for the stories of those who have gone on before us. Thank You for authors who write about You. I realize that no real love comes from my own heart. Real love only comes from You. Continue to grow this love in me and help me to follow You for the rest of my days. Thank You so much for what You’ve already done. I never knew that a heart could feel this free. Amen!
P.S. Tell me the names of some books that have grown your faith. I will mention some of the titles that have really helped me along the way.
The Chronicles of Narnia
Lord Foulgrin’s Letters
The Pilgrim’s Progress (This one first and foremost . . . I’ve read it probably 10 times)
The Pursuit of God
Practicing His Presence
The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker
St Patrick by Michael McHugh
Beyond the Dead Forest by Steve Groll (An awesome story about the Golden Rule)
These are just a handful off the top of my head that really, really made an impact on me.