Monday, March 28, 2016

Revisiting History


I’m revisiting the story of Corrie ten Boom as she wrote it herself in “The Hiding Place.” Just a third into the book, I’ve found several reminders of things I’ve known – and a remembrance of a quote the world cannot (it seems) remember:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana
We remember how horrible the violence of war is – we see it daily but we no longer call it war. Because it is fought differently than the last century, we would like to believe it is something else. It isn’t.

Nearly 80 decades ago, a young woman was given a truth by her father and she shared it with others after she had seen more violence than living generations can imagine. Corrie and her sister Betsie prayed as their country capitulated to Germany and discussed a vision, Betsie said:
"I don't know . . .  But if God has shown us bad times ahead, it's enough for me that He knows about them. That's why He sometimes shows us things, you know - to tell us that this too is in His hands."
Jesus’ disciples must have felt worse than these two Dutch ladies as their dreams evaporated on the cross. Three years of listening to His preaching. Three years of miracles. Three years of confirming in their own minds that the Messiah was there to restore Israel, to throw off the burden of Roman rule – only to see Him die right in front of them.

Rome was transitory. Hitler lasted an even shorter period of time. Kingdoms rose and fell, kings’ heads rolled and nations built on individual rights or workers’ common goals lasted no longer. Why we could possibly believe our world is different in the least is beyond me.

Yet, three days after His death, His disciples began to understand they had instructions to follow:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

They sort of forgot that and began looking to His promised return. Once again, they put their hopes and fears into what they wanted, not what God had in mind. Through the book of Acts we see them learn more and more about the future – often through visions, just as Corrie ten Boom.

Why? Because God is omniscient.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Paul came to understand that God’s grace is sufficient to see His children through life (II Corinthians 12:9) And that Jesus endured the cross because He knew what was coming:

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

What we need to know, God has revealed. While we do not know what each day will bring us, there is much in the Bible that has not yet occurred. Take time to read about the past, the future and what is available to each of us. And, if you have some time, spend a bit of it in Corrie ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place.”

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