“OPEN THE DOOR!!!!” An angry Nazi soldier pounded forcefully on the door and screamed into the otherwise peaceful ten Boom home.
I jolted in my seat and swallowed hard.
The soldier burst in and started shoving women and seniors around. He raised a hand and struck Corrie on the face. SLAP! And again. SLAP! She yelped and fell off her chair.
From my theatre seat I breathed a little faster and desperately blinked away the moisture that had jumped to my eyes.
There’s reading a story in a book and imagining how things might have felt, and then there’s seeing it acted out in front of you in full volume. The realities of the frightful story assaulted me anew.
Our family recently saw The Hiding Place re-enacted in a local college theatre. My son and I had read the full story this summer, and were thrilled to see it on stage. My daughter and husband had heard the story before, so knew how it went. (If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it – it may be a frightening story, but it’s the compelling light in darkness and demonstration of hope amidst hopelessness that builds the faith of those who read it.)
One particular scene – possibly the shortest – was especially compelling to me.
Corrie, having received news of her father’s death, reminisced of his wonderful influence on her life.
The stage darkened and at the far end a spot light shone on Corrie’s father and a small girl. They stood near a lampstand, awaiting a train.
“Daddy?” young Corrie asked, “...What is rape?”
After a moment’s pause, the man held out his suitcase. “Would you hold this for me please Corrie?”
“Sure, daddy” she took it from his hands and it fell to the ground with a THUD. She tugged and pulled but could not lift it. He smiled and bent down to take it up from her hands.
“Let me carry that,” he said. “You know, just like this suitcase, your question is one that is too big for you to hold. I would not be a good father if I allowed you to carry it. Let your father carry it.”
I swallowed hard again. Loud and clear, I was hearing my heavenly Father say this very thing to me.
I’d been asking Him questions I’d wrestled with for a long time. Questions that shattered my heart any time I dared think of them.
“Why does there have to be a hell?”
“If you can change hearts, and you will that none perish, why do many end up perishing?”
I couldn’t stand the thought of people languishing forever without hope, light, or God.
And not just people, but people I’ve met. Walked with. Worked with. Known. It’s unthinkable. It’s unimaginable. I can’t STAND it. I hate it. Why?? How can it be part of a good plan?
I don’t understand, and I’m not sure I want to.
There, in a theatre seat, watching father and daughter talk about heartbreaking questions, I heard it.
“It’s too heavy for you to carry. Let me carry it.”
I swallowed hard and was faced with the decision that must be made again and again. The decision that is never done being made. Will I trust Him beyond what I can understand? Will I trust Him beyond what my small mind can see as good or right?
Then a passage came to mind that helped me with that decision earlier on in my faith:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not lean not on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)
What hard stuff are you wrestling with?
Are you trying to carry something that’s too heavy for you?
Don’t be afraid to ask Jesus your questions. He is always gentle and patient with those who seek Him. (Matthew 11:29)
Perhaps Corrie’s father’s advice is what you needed to hear today.
Maybe you’re trying to carry something that is too heavy for you and it’s time to let it go and let your heavenly Father carry it.
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