Our Hiding Place

Thursday, November 9, 2023
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Listen while you read: "As Pants The Hart For Cooling Streams"1 (Lyrics)

Philippians 4:11b-13 – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (NIV)

In The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, Corrie recounts how she, her father, and her sister Betsie were taken to prison for doing good. Their crime? Helping persecuted Jews during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. The Beje, their tall, narrow house in Haarlem, operated as a secret headquarters for an underground organization that found hiding places for Jews, obtained false identities for them, and provided ration cards by the hundreds. Despite the potential danger, the family's lives were full, and they were content.

One fateful day, their lives were turned upside down. The Gestapo raided the Beje. This was not the drill that they had practised many times; this was real. Although the Jews who lived with them managed to scramble to safety in a specially-built secret room, Corrie, her sister, and her elderly father were arrested and taken to prison. Her father soon died, but the sisters ended up in Ravensbrück, an infamous concentration camp in Germany.

In Ravensbrück, Corrie and Betsie found themselves in horrific surroundings. Overcrowding meant that the sisters slept on a stinking straw-covered platform with twice as many bodies than it was built for. Blankets were thin and inadequate. Overflowing toilets were not enough for all the women in the room. Meals were a watery turnip soup with a hunk of bread and ersatz coffee. Roll call meant standing for hours in the pre-dawn chill. Moreover, the barracks were infested with fleas.

Corrie struggled against the injustice of it all. Betsie, however, had "learned the secret of being content in any and every situation" (Philippians 4:12b) and always found something to be thankful for. As the sisters prayed together, Corrie couldn't understand why Betsie insisted that they had to thank God for the fleas. Ultimately, the fleas worked for their good. Because of them, the guards would not set foot in the room, and they were able to encourage an ever-widening circle of prisoners as they read the Bible and prayed together.

Psalm 32:7 – You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (NIV)

Corrie and Betsie were able to endure their circumstances only through their close relationship with the Lord. He was their hiding place; the words of their smuggled Bible were Spirit and life to the women who gathered around them.

Our challenges pale in comparison to theirs, yet still, those circumstances loom threateningly on our horizons. Let's remember that we have a hiding place in God and that we can be content in His strength in any difficulty.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for being our hiding place in times of trouble. Thank You that You are as close as a prayer, and that we can be content no matter what goes on around us. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <terrencera.burnett@gmail.com>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    That story never gets old, Alice.

    Simply beautiful rendering of God Almighty’s truth Alice. Blessings.

    Thanks for a good and oh so true word today, Alice.

    Thank you for sharing today. Corrie Ten Boom did a lot of good for the Kingdom of God. Very inspirational thoughts given today.

    Aren’t we blessed to have Him as our hiding place?
    What a good devotional for this time in our lives.
    Thank you so much. Keep writing.

    Oh my Lord, Alice. I am sure I would have been like Corrie.
    Thanks for this riveting story.

    Alice, I’m edified by your submission. Recently I listened to the audiobook of “The Hiding Place”. For me Corrie ten Boom is among the cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. Her faith challenges me to throw off the sin (cowardice) that so easily holds me back in the “race marked out for us”.

    Hi Alice,
    I have read a few of her books and they definitely teach you a lot about faith and love. I agree that being content makes the good and difficult times better.
    We are blessed if we can reach that contentment that Paul talks about. Thanks for sharing.

    Many thanks Alice for another of your interesting and very positive devotionals. Yes, remaining strong in prayer truly gets us through a variety of life’s circumstances. Philippians 4:13 included in your opening scripture has been my “mantra” ever since I had an accident years ago and proved the doctor’s negative prediction totally wrong. Blessings for these special writings you do.

    Thank you for your devotional reminding us of Corrie Ten Boom. I was blessed in hearing her testimony on Hour of Power many years ago with Dr. Robert Schuller. I also read about her. This week Joel Jongkind also shared about being in the Netherlands in those years, and his testimony touched me. Several of my distant relatives also live in the Netherlands. Blessings.

    Alice, having just read your top bunk devotional, one observation is the several details you skillfully included to support Phil.4:13. One invoked memory from the 1960s is that Corrie sat in the front seat of my car and was driven from Burlington, ON to her next speaking engagement. At age 20 I knew the moment was special but not fully appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us today. Corrie and her sister have been an inspiration to many for many years… even though they are both in heaven now! At a Christian conference many years ago, I had the privilege of meeting her just before she was getting ready to speak. She caught sight of me standing in the wings off to the side trying to comfort my weeping child. I was very much pregnant with my yet to be born daughter. She took the time to come over to comfort us and pray for us. She was truly the real deal! Blessings.

    Thank you, Alice, your devotions are some of my favorites that I find in the days of turmoil.
    I just can’t go on without the morning devotion, and often, I reread them later for an added boost for my day. It brings out the sanity in me every day and gives me reason to thank God for what he has given me,
    Thanks for your submissions to this media.
    Our souls find goodness in your work.

    Thank you, Alice. My mother read me that book and I read it by myself later. Then I read it to a blind World War I veteran who I used to sit with a few hours a week. He was 100 and he went back twice for Remembrance Day, once for the 80th anniversary of Vimy and the next year at 101 to be knighted and to attend the 80th anniversary of the First World War. I would read until he fell asleep, and when he would wake up, I would just pick up where I had left off. Thank you.

    Hi Alice,
    Thanks for today’s devotional, Alice. I’ve known the story of Corrie Ten Boom for years but reading it again was a great reminder of the importance of being grateful.
    Always good to read your writings.

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