‘Sunday evenings are a great time for Corrie Ten Boom quotes’, said my husband, as we slumped on the sofa, and that slightly heavy anticipation of the week ahead descended.
There’s nothing to write home about on the horizon. The coming week is nothing special. But maybe that’s part of the settling weight. As we head into the umpteenth week of Covid-shaped times, it seems that nothing much changes, and we battle a feeling of monochrome and monotony.
Autumnal shades riot outside amidst bluebird skies, there’s much to be thankful for and yet life feels grounded. Not yet as locked down as the UK, for which we’re thankful, but still flattened, especially when looking at it from that Sunday evening spot.
Corrie Ten Boom, for those who haven’t come across her, was a legend of a lady who lived through the Second World War. Her family were part of the resistance in Holland, and hid Jewish refugees in their house. They were caught, sent to concentration camps and miraculously Corrie survived. In her wonderful autobiography, ‘The Hiding Place’, Corrie’s unwavering faith shines through the narrative that delves into the darkest of times.
A quick google search brings a top hit of an amazing line from her story:
‘Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God‘
While inappropriate to compare our situation to that of a lengthy, brutal war, we can grasp and run with the heart of Ten Boom’s rallying words. The future is unknown – and seemingly more so now than it was last year. Endlessly dipping in and out of different restrictions and, for us, not knowing when we will next see family is wearing.
And yet we can trust a ‘known God’. Known in character, consistency and love for us. John’s gospel (an eyewitness account of Jesus’ life) speaks of Jesus as being the one who has made God known. Before Jesus walked this earth, no-one had ever seen God. But through Jesus, we can know him. Corrie Ten Boom knew Jesus, encountered him through the Bible and trusted him for life beyond the horrors that she experienced at the hands of the Nazis.
I’m thankful to be able to trust God with the next week, and the weeks that follow. I’d love to know when our situation will change, what’s around the corner, whether we’ll be back to ‘normal’ any time soon. But with all that I don’t know, I’m grateful to know a God who will not let go whatever is coming.
The boys and I were reading the beautifully written ‘Jesus Storybook Bible’ this morning (one for adults as well as children!), and I was reminded that God has a firm hold on us, and that his unstoppable rescue plan is in full swing. As we read of the fall of Jericho, we saw God’s people enter the Promised Land after forty years travelling in the desert. Triumphant and optimistic, but things go wrong quickly and the people find themselves homeless, enslaved and scattered. It looks like God’s plan has failed.
‘But God’s plan was still working. One day he would give his people another Leader. And another home. But this home, no one could ever take from them.’ (p.114)
Following that Leader, Jesus, we are safe and swept up in God’s unstoppable plan. He will take us all the way through whatever the unknown future holds right into the known, glorious certainty of our heavenly home. And so I know I can trust him.