The trees are changing into the most colorful sights these days! Oranges and yellows and reds and every color in between. Just gorgeous!
A couple of weeks ago on a walk with a friend, we were discussing prayer and faith. She reminded me that even in our physical seasons there is so much going on that we cannot see. So much beneath the surface of the earth and in the trees’ deep roots. More than meets the eye, I suppose you could say.
And the same is true in our walk here on this earth. There’s more going on than meets the eye. With our kids, I can be assured that God is at work. Whether I see the work or the results of the work. Whether or not they talk about the work going on in their lives. God is working. In our marriage, He is working. In my struggle with purpose and motivation in this season, God is working. With that neighbor or co-worker you’ve been sharing the gospel with, He is working. In the deep wounds of war, God is working. It doesn’t always seem like it. It’s definitely not always obvious.
But isn’t this faith?!? Faith is being sure of what you hope for and confident of what you cannot see. And without faith it is impossible to please God. So it’s pretty silly when I begin to doubt just because I can’t see what is going on. I don’t know the details of every situation. I don’t know the inner workings of each of my kids’ hearts. I don’t even know what tomorrow holds. I don’t understand the hate and the war. But I can trust God who sees all, knows all, and is powerfully at work in ways I do not know about.
I recently began reading The Hiding Place—“the triumphant true story of Corrie Ten Boom.” And wow was my faith fueled as I read about her life and her sister, Betsie’s life. Taken into custody by the Nazis in 1944, they were treated horribly and had to live in awful conditions. You’ll need to read the book to appreciate all that they endured. But I am amazed at the faith they had in God every step of the way. The love they had for God’s Word and how He allowed them to keep a copy of His word throughout the whole stay. They would read it aloud to their barrack members each evening and while they worked. They must have seen more than meets the eye. They must have heard more than what their ears heard day in and day out. They must have believed that God was with them and that this world is not their home. They lived differently. They loved differently. They actively worked against the hate that surrounded them by loving and forgiving people and praying for those who hurt them. They saw this broken world for what it is and put all their hope in the new world Jesus is coming back to make new.
One move brought the sisters to an overcrowded barrack that was overrun with fleas. They were absolutely everywhere. And that first day Corrie was complaining but Betsie stopped her and prayed, thanking God for the fleas because He says to give thanks in all circumstances. Much later, they found out that the reason they had such freedom to read the Bible outloud every night and the reason the male guards left them alone was because of the fleas. Truly, God was using the difficult circumstances for their good. Betsie decided to see it that way even before she knew it was true.
I’d say they lived a faith-filled life that fueled other people’s faith and continues to do so even today. Even after Corrie was released, she went on to run a home in honor of Betsie who spoke often of a vision “of a home here in Holland where those who had been hurt could learn to live again unafraid.” Someone gave Corrie this home. When she toured the home, it was just as Betsie had described it, though Betsie had never physically been there.
“Are there…” my throat was dry. “Are there inlaid wood floors inside, and a broad gallery around a central hall, and—and bas-relief statues set along the walls?”
Mrs. Bierens de Haan looked at me in surprise. “You’ve been here then! I don’t recall—”
“No,” I said. “I heard about it from—”
“From someone who’s been here,” she finished simply, not understanding my perplexity.
“Yes,” I said. “From someone who’s been here.”
I want to live like I see more than meets the eye. I want to endure hard times as one who knows God is good and that this world is not my home. I want live hearing from God on my circumstances and not taking them for what they seem to be. I want to live a life of faith. Whatever I am going through is likely preparing me for a future endeavor.
Corrie Ten Boom has been quoted as saying: This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.