I was named after Corrie ten Boom. (Chloe Ferguson being a pen name I assumed to maintain some anonymity, mainly for my kids' sake.) With age has come increasing awareness of the honor of such a namesake. How I would love to approach life with Corrie's faith, submission, and strength. Yet how I shy away from anything closely resembling discomfort, let alone the type of horror that I think ultimately shaped Corrie into who she was.
We've been having repeated conversations around here about the sort of wrapping paper God uses on His gifts. Both the kids and I need a reminder that regularly, God wraps His packages in all sorts of ugly. And like walking past a diamond because it's caked in muck and mud, we miss out on incredible blessings if we refuse to press through the messy, sometimes painful wrapping, and look for the gift buried inside.
See, God uses the yuck in our lives to make us into who He needs us to be. Alan Redpath says, "When God wants to do an impossible task, he takes an impossible person and crushes him."
Corrie would simply be a watchmaker's daughter without her stand of faith that landed her in Ravensbruck ... a horror that opened the door for her to inspire thousands and glorify God's name.
And Joseph would merely be a pesky little brother with a colorful coat, and Esther would be Hadassah the Jewish refugee, and David would be a lowly shepherd, and Moses would be an adopted Egyptian royal and the list goes on. But because of the trials and tragedies and even horrors that God allowed in each of these Biblical greats' lives, they became infamous men and women, inspiring fellow believers down through the centuries to press on toward the prize.
So where does that leave me? I still am pain-averse, longing to find the magic ticket that delivers spiritual maturity wrapped in a pretty little comfortable box. Unfortunately, I see no Biblical promise suggesting such a thing exists. And so, I too press on, discovering that praise is only a sacrifice when said through tears at the end of oneself, trusting that God will do a magnificent work through the impossible situations in my life.
A lyric from a song on the radio today lingers long after the notes fade. "The more broke you are, the more the light gets through." I think Corrie would agree.