My whole life I have wanted to live like the heroes of faith. I grew up hearing stories of courage and hope against impossible odds. To this day, I am captivated by stories of people, especially women, who defy the odds set against them. This weekend I discovered another one of such people.
Her name is Irena Sendler. She was a Polish social worker in Warsaw during WWII. Upon visiting the Warsaw ghetto, where the local Jews had been quartered, she noticed the thousands of Jewish children who were barely surviving. Her moment of inspiration came when she watched as orphanages were cleared out and the children sent to Treblinka, the closest extermination camp. She was so affected by this event that she spent the rest of her life devoted to saving Jewish children, and helping Jews assimilate into a normal life after the war.
She risked everything for the lives of complete strangers. She sought no glory or recognition from anyone, she simply wanted to save as many children as she could. She was able to save 2,500 children from the Warsaw ghetto and place them in Polish homes of people who volunteered to hide and take care of them. Some children were placed in church orphanages or convents. She wrote every child’s name down in hopes of reuniting the children with relatives after the war.
She was betrayed, captured, and tortured tremendously, yet never betrayed one person or child whom was involved in the underground network. She barely escaped execution through the network bribing a guard to release her on the way to her execution. She gave her life for the lives of those children, and even then she wished she could have saved more.
Corrie ten Boom is one of my most treasured teachers. She has inspired me since the first time I heard of her story. She was a Christian who hid Jews in her home until she was betrayed and sent to Ravensbrook concentration camp. The horrendous things she saw and suffered are unbelievable to comprehend, yet she came out able to forgive and love her persecutors. The story of God in Corrie’s life is one that will bring hope and encouragement to every heart. The trust that Corrie has in God is to be desired.
She chose not to be bitter or resentful towards life, and instead she chose love, joy, and trust. Her story has transformed my life in so many ways. It brings me courage and hope.
These are only a few of the women who have radically impacted my life. And they happen to have lived during the same time as well. While they were different in many ways, they both chose to surrender their lives and dreams in order to help those who needed it most.
Corrie gave her life unto God to use. He did not ask for her to follow through with this until she was 59 years old, and yet for the following 20-some years, He used her in tremendous unmatched ways.
I’m coming to see that when I surrender a part of my life, it gives God full advantage to use it for his glory. This realization leads to a question.What if I surrendered my entire life, every part of it? How much would God be able to do in it and through it?
When I look back at my life in Heaven, when I am finally in the glorious immediate presence of my God, I hope and pray that I will be able to say, “Lord, I gave it everything. I held nothing back from you. You were the reason I lived, that Your glory might shine throughout the earth.”
While that is my hope and prayer, when I look at day to day, or even just today, how difficult it can be to follow through with that! I want to surrender every part of my life, but I cannot do this without the help of the Holy Spirit. You see, I cannot do this because I don’t know how.
I don’t know how to give it up. My flesh fights to have control in every way. But when I surrender to the Spirit and ask Him to take control, a load is lifted, a burden made light. So often the world looks at surrender as a loss, a horrible outcome, but in the eyes of God, surrender to the Spirit is the ultimate victory.
When we come to God, kneeling before him with our head down in respect, when we say,
“King of Heaven, here I kneel in respect, surrendering my life unto your hands. Have your way in me.”
that is when God is glorified. That is when all of Heaven rejoices to see a new soldier join the army of Heaven.
God is not selfish. He does take take away your life to punish or use you. He takes your life when you surrender it that you might find TRUE LIFE, a life of glory and joy! A life of fulfillment and purpose!
No one could say Corrie ten Boom lived a bad life. She certainly would not allow such a comment to stand. She had her Lord and Savior as her intimate friend and confidant. She would say, I believe, that she lived a most rich life.
God did not steal a life away from Corrie, He gave one to her.
He can give one to you too.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come that you might have life, and have it to its fullest” (John 10:10).
Jesus wants to give you Life, a life that no matter what you face, no matter how horrible, tragic, depressing, hopeless situations and events may be, He wants to give you a life that surpasses understanding, that defies the odds. He is the God of hope. He will bring joy and laughter out of sorrow and pain. He is the Great Healer. He is the Grand Restorer. He is the God of New Life.
Do you want that life? Then take it. Taste and see that this Life can be yours. Simple and free. The price has been paid; the gift is yours. Ask Him to come and take over, for when you surrender your life, my sweet friend, you will find it.