Have you ever felt that if you were just in different circumstances, your life would be so different?
If you just had a different job, or a different family, or better skin, or were born in a more affluent neighborhood, or whatever it is for you. We’ve all been there. We have all wished away our circumstances at one time or another, or blamed our circumstances for our lack of success or happiness. And while the circumstances we are in can greatly affect where we go in life, they do not have to completely control us. Corrie Ten Boom, a holocaust survivor and author once said,
“Happiness isn’t something that depends on our surroundings…it’s something we make inside of ourselves.”
This is a hard truth, because it’s often just easier to blame our misery on our circumstances. It’s not my fault I am miserable, I am in the midst of a horrible circumstance, If that thing would just be different, then I could be happy too. It’s dangerous business to give all the power of our happiness and well-being to our circumstance. For one thing, what if our circumstances never change? What do we do then?
Corrie Ten Boom, is a great reminder to me of living life fully no matter your circumstance. Corrie lived in the Netherlands in World War II. In fact, she was the first woman watchmaker in Holland, which tells you a little about her determined nature. She came from a Christian family, and she herself was a devout Christian and dedicated her life to helping others. The opportunity arose for her and her family to house some Jews in need of safety. So they built a little hidden room in their house, gathered extra food stamps, and began risking their lives for others. Corrie became a leader in this movement to save Jewish individuals, overseeing many safe houses all over the country.
Just two years after they first began using their house as a safe house, the Ten Boom family was arrested and sent to concentration camps. They endured many horrors in those camps, as so many did. Corrie writes about it in her book The Hiding Place. Though she endured some of the worst suffering humans have to face, she remained joyful. She was released for unknown reasons in December of 1944, started her own ministry, wrote a book, and lived into old age.
“If you look to the world you’ll be distressed, if you look within you’ll be depressed. But if you look to God you’ll be at rest.” (Corrie Ten Boom)
Sometimes when I am in the midst of a difficult or painful situation, I assume God is not there. I don’t know why I do it, He has shown up a million times before in the darkest places, but still, every time I face suffering, I forget He is walking with me. But oh those moments when I look up and see his face right next to mine, and realize my small hand is wrapped up in His big strong one. He is with me.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 KJV
No matter our circumstances today, we are not alone. We can rest in the truth that He has gone before us. All we must do is grasp His hand and take it step by step. All you have to do is place your little foot into the imprint of His foot that has already been there. I am not here to tell you that it will be easy friends, but I can assure you that He is with us.
Today and everyday, let us make the most of our circumstances. Let us live with our eyes so fixed on Jesus, that all we can see is the truth that He has for us, the joy that He brings. Let us, like Corrie, open our hands and let God do his work.