“…I am with you always, even to the end of the age. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Matthew 28:20b; Hebrews 13:5b
In a previous Victory Call I referred to a book I’d recently finished titled “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom. One of my most meaningful takeaways from the book was the relationship Corrie and her siblings had with their father. I could cry, even now, as I think about how their father was able to bring such peace and stability to their souls as they encountered life in its pains and sorrows.
One such occasion, Corrie’s heart had been broken because, Karel, who was the love of her life, visited their family to introduce his fiancée. Yes, you read correctly. His wife-to- be!
To Corrie, this young man was the only one who’d likely have been her husband, as she’d been smitten with him from their first meeting. There had been conversations about marriage and family, letters had been sent back and forth, etc. How then could he so boldly show up like this, as if there had never been anything between himself and Corrie?
I’m sure there are some reading this devotion today who can all too clearly imagine the pain she was in. Betrayal, after all, can be a deeply embittering insult to inflict on one’s soul and spirit. It’s simply too much to bear. What is she to do? What are we to do when those who would seemingly love us, hurt us?
In the book, Corrie tells us:
“Somehow I managed to shake her hand…and to wish them every happiness…I was fleeing up the stairs to my own room at the top of the house where the tears could come…Later I heard father’s footsteps coming up the stairs…I was afraid of what father would say, afraid he would say, “There will be someone else soon.”
“Corrie,” he began instead, “Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world and when it is blocked, that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill the love so that it stops hurting. But then, of course, a part of us dies too. Or Corrie, we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel. God loves Karel, even more than you do. And if you ask Him, He will give you His love for this man, a love nothing can prevent; nothing can destroy. Whatever we cannot love in the old human way, Corrie, God can give us the perfect way.”
I sincerely hope no one reading this sees a pat answer, for surely, her father’s response is beyond that. She will go on to share that these words of wisdom from him were a “secret that would open far darker rooms than this – places where there was not, on a human level, anything to love at all.”
Have you been there? Have you ever felt a depth of pain you thought surely, “this will undo me?” What do you do? Where do you go? To whom do you run?
My encouragement to you is that you run to Abba Father! (Personally, it’s the only thing that keeps me going. I tell you the truth.)
In the midst of deep pain (pain which could easily have made her bitter) Corrie talked to her father. He was a safe place for her, a comforting place. Her father drew near and was present with her in her pain. He didn’t leave her to suffer alone. He didn’t minimize, chastise or rebuke. And, as only a true father can, he was present with her to give her the exact words she needed for help and healing.
Dear sisters, if we are God’s daughters we have something far richer in our relationship with Him because He is Perfect Love and He is Always Good. He will never leave us or forsake us for another. He is always present! Therefore, a cry, a call, a shout, a whimper…any noise from us in His direction is enough to have the blessed assurance of Father’s heart.
Stephanie served on staff at America’s Keswick as Women of Character Director. She is married to Sesky; together they have 2 adult children.