In her book, Not Good if Detached, Corrie ten Boom describes how a ticket stub is not valid if detached from the ticket; just so, we are useless if detached from the Vine. (I would recommend all to read this book; it's small, but chock full of inspiration and encouragement!!!) She gives accounts of how a new Christian, not five minutes old in the faith, longs to have a fellow convict told of Christ. She tells of how God used difficulties to grow her faith.
Corrie feared God, loved God, served God, and believed God to be faithful; and He used her in many ways to reach His people. Through her pain, she could reach out and heal other's hurting spirits. She was able to minister to prisoners who were closed and hateful to all others, because she, too, had once been a prisoner.
Throughout her years of laboring for the Kingdom of God, the wrongs done to her were continually brought before her. God wanted her to forgive. And more than forgive, He wanted her to love those who had done her ill; to bring them comfort and the Gospel of Peace. She wrote to her queen, asking for amnesty for a former prison guard who had been horribly cruel to her and her sister, whom she loved dearly. The man had become a Christian, and she knew God had forgiven him, but she struggled to forgive. She explains it this way:
"Suddenly I see what I am doing. Carl's sins have been cast by Jesus into the depths of the sea. They are forgiven and forgotten-- and I am trying to fish them up again!"
And another time, in another country, she speaks to a man who is frustrated that he is not bearing fruit: who complains that confessing his sins does not seem to help them be erased,
"Where are the sins you have confessed? What does the Bible say? Your bitterness is in the depths of the sea, forgiven and forgotten, and there is a little notice which says 'NO FISHING ALLOWED.' Your selfishness disappeared like that cloud we saw five minutes ago in the sky. Your unkindness is as far away from you as the east is from the west."
Once, when feeling discouraged with her lack of abilities and want of enthusiasm, she told God that she was no missionary, and to send her back to watchmaking.
"At that moment, I find in my Bible a little piece of paper which I have never seen before. On it is written:
"'Cowardly, wayward, and weak,
I change with the changing sky,
Today so eager and strong,
Tomorrow not caring to try.
But He never gives in,
And we two shall win,
Jesus and I.'"
What a wonderful bit of poetry to remember! We must rely on Christ's strength, for only through Him can we, weak and miserable as we are, hope to succeed! There is much to learn from this humble, loving woman. Even though she writes about her work, she wants no credit. She led to Christ a "nurse" who cruelly hurt her sister when she was at her weakest times: but Corrie forgave and loved her. Her complete faith in God is an example for us all. The trials we have are gifts from our loving Father; given so that we may know and trust Him more.
(One last quotation. :P )
"The enemy could take away our material possessions, but he could not destroy our faith in God's love in Jesus Christ. On the contrary, when all earthly security was very uncertain, we experienced with tremendous joy the invincibility of the sure Rock to which our anchor is eternally fastened. Before, we had believed, but now we knew that the light of Jesus Christ is stronger that the deepest darkness." ~ Corrie ten Boom