A Prisoner and Yet
Recently I had the blessing of some gift tokens from Amazon as presents. Going online to see what I could have, a suggestion came up on the screen based upon previous purchases, it was a book A Prisoner and Yet by Corrie Ten Boom. It is in the style of a journal about the time that she spent incarcerated by the Nazi Regime. It is an amazing book about the daily struggles in prison and in concentration camps for helping hide Jewish people along with her father Casper and sister Betsie from the Nazi invaders of Haarlem in Holland. They were imprisoned away from each other and Corries father at 84 only survived 10 days in prison before he passed away. Through her time in prison in Scheveningen in Holland, and the concentration camps Vught again in Holland and Ravensbruck 90Km North of Berlin in Germany she went through many horrible experiences. She saw sickness, suffering, torture, mass murder, she experienced situations that no one should have to being shunted from camp to camp in filthy cramped conditions so bad that many did not survive the journey. She lived in conditions that would bring hell to anyone’s mind. And all this for doing as she had been commanded showing love and compassion for her neighbours. It would be easy for her to become angry and question or even lose her faith, but no, through the whole of her ordeal her faith remained constant, in fact if anything her faith in God grew.
This example of total un-bending faith in God reminds me of great examples of faithfulness, I think of Joseph who had so much and was promised so much more but over a period of events must have thought that he had lost it all and that God had forgotten him but this was not the case. Joseph never lost his faith in God he trusted completely in His promises and glorified Him in every situation.
Then of course there is Job, again someone who really did have everything wealth, land, property, livestock and a loving family. We then read that God allowed Satan to take all of this from Job who God had said was a good and faithful man. He went through illness, loss of family, and all his worldly wealth and yet Satan could not sway his faith in the Lord in all of these trials he still glorified God in all circumstances.
The apostle Paul tells us in the New Testament that no matter where we find ourselves in what situations we are in we should lay all at Gods feet. He says in Philippians 4 v 6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I have spoken to non-Christian friends about the privilege we have of being able to place our issues in God’s hands and the response that I receive is often “so he is a crutch after all”. My response to them is this that God is in no way a crutch but he is always there to turn to in every circumstance to help get you through it. He is the one thing in our lives that never changes He has promised that He will never forsake us and will not allow us to suffer more than we can cope with. To know that He is there every time that I talk to him is such a blessing. God has promised that He will listen to all of our prayers and will answer them every time. He does not always answer in a way that we want or in our time but He always gives us an answer, it may take a lot longer than we want it but the answer will be what we need and in His perfect time. And because He sent His only Son the lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins we can be sure that no matter what is thrown at us on our time on earth because we have been saved through Christ we will one day be in Heaven with God with new perfect bodies and will suffer no more.
Paul tells us that as Christians we must never take our focus off of Christ and that we need to witness to all and tell of the wonderful Gospel message that has been given to us, and that we live peaceful, prayerful, humble lives and rejoice in God in all situations, he tells us in Thessalonians 5 v13-18 Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I would urge everyone to read this book by Corrie Ten Boom A Prisoner and Yet to see how one Christian woman continues to praise and worship God through what can only be described as hell on earth, giving us a wonderful example of how should deal with difficult situations in our lives.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you