Psalm 4:3 ESV
Even when I was very young I remember my dad sitting in his chair in the living room with his eyes closed. I knew that meant that he was praying and listening to God. When I was young I didn’t understand what it was like to hear God.
I didn’t understand what God sounds like.
I didn’t know how to hear.
I DID know that hearing God was very important to my dad and that made it important to me. Hearing God became a lifelong desire. Eventually I had a desire to hear God clearly. Then I had a desire to watch and wait so I would hear every word God speaks.
Now that I’ve been on the planet for many decades I know that with each passing year there is much I still learn about hearing God. Just when I think I know a little bit about how to hear God, I learn that there is a great deal I do not know. I still have much to learn.
Psalm 4:3 tells us, “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” I’ve learned that while I still have much to learn about hearing God, God always always hears me when I call on the name of God.
When I read that verse I think of Corrie Ten Boom who lived from April 15, 1892 until April 15, 1983. I think it’s terribly interesting that she came to us and left us on the same date.
She suffered great adversity during World War II when her family secretly sheltered Jews in the German occupied Netherlands. The Beje, which became known as the Dutch underground movement sheltered Jewish people from the Nazis.
Father Ten Boom was a watchmaker and they were members of the Dutch Reformed Church. They were a charitable and caring Godly family that lived in a large home in Haarland, Netherlands. When their Jewish neighbors began secretly disappearing the family built secret rooms in their home that could house Jewish people in the area.
At that time everyone was given a food ration card. While housing their Jewish neighbors was difficult, the biggest problem they faced was how to feed everyone.
One day Corrie went to the house of a civil servant who ran the local ration-card office. That night when he asked Corrie how many ration cards she needed she fully intended to say five. However, in her book The Hiding Place that Corrie wrote later we read, “the number that unexpectedly and astonishingly came out instead was: 'One hundred.' He gave them to her and she provided cards to every Jewish person she met.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrie_ten_Boom)
Much to her surprise, God unexpectedly spoke through her that night.
The family was issued 100 ration cards enabling them to feed all of the Jewish refugees who were hidden in the secret rooms in their home.
Eventually, Father Ten Boom, his older daughter Betsie, and his youngest daughter Corrie were discovered in February, 1944. When the extra ration cards were found in their home they were arrested and sent to prison. The Jews hidden in their home were not found and they were able to escape unharmed.
Many people were arrested that day in the Ten Boom home but most of them were released. Only Father Ten Boom, Betsie, and Corrie were retained in prison. Corrie’s father died ten days after they were captured. Betsie and Corrie were sent to the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp where Betsie became ill. Betsie died at the age of 59 in December, 1944.
Corrie was set to be put to death in the gas chamber but she was released because of a ‘clerical error’.
Germany surrendered to the Allied forces on May 7, 1945 (https://www.archives.gov/milestone-documents/surrender-of-germany).
Corrie was the only one of the three who survived.
Corrie Ten Boom wrote many books and traveled the world telling their story of hiding their Jewish friends. I remember reading her book when I was in my twenties. The Hiding Place was published in 1971. The book was made into a movie in 1975. Corrie also wrote Tramp for the Lord, that chronicle’s her journey. It was first published in 1978.
I read both books in the mid to late 1970’s and I was struck by the miracles God did on Corrie’s behalf. There were many miracles that have not been mentioned here. Clearly, God spoke to and through Corrie Ten Boom.
When I was twenty something and I first read her story I marveled at the modern day miracles God performed. I became convinced that God does still do miracles on earth…every day.
Reading her story gave me a desire to hear God and I prayed, asking God to speak ever so clearly to me all the days of my life. At the time I was married to a young pastor. Eventually I packed up my four children and we served in five different churches in five different towns in Missouri and Iowa.
In 2005 my journey took me to a new place. That was difficult and I struggled with the change. Then in 2007 God called me to go to Seminary. The call was clear. I heard God tell me where to go to school. I knew WHEN God wanted me to go back to school.
I didn’t know how that could happen. As it turned out, I only needed to say YES. After I said yes, God took care of all the details. In 2013 I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN.
It was quite a ride! When God first called me to go to Seminary I knew I heard the call but I was afraid because I didn’t know about how it would happen. God took care of everything.
All I needed to do was say YES.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Say YES
Ask God what is in store for you. When God brings it to you, all you need to do is say YES. Gods will take care of all the details.
In God, Deborah