“There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world.” – Betsie ten Boom
This simple statement has occupied a lot of my thinking for the last couple of weeks.
Here is the original story written by Corrie ten Boom in The Hiding Place …
One night I tossed for an hour while dogfights raged overhead, streaking my patch of sky with fire. At last I heard Betsie stirring in the kitchen and ran down to join her.
She was making tea. She brought it into the dining room where we had covered the windows with heavy black paper and set out the best cups. Somewhere in the night there was an explosion; the dishes in the cupboard rattled. For an hour we sipped our tea and talked, until the sound of the planes died away and the sky was silent. I said goodnight to Betsie at the door to Tante Jan’s rooms and groped my way up the dark stairs to my own. The fiery light was gone from the sky. I felt for my bed: there was the pillow. Then in the darkness my hand closed over something hard. Sharp too! I felt blood trickle along a finger.
It was a jagged piece of metal, ten inches long.
I raced down the stairs with the shrapnel shard in my hand. We went back to the dining room and stared at it in the light while Betsie bandaged my hand. “On your pillow,” she kept saying.
“Betsie, if I hadn’t heard you in the kitchen –”
But Betsie put a finger on my mouth. “Don’t say it, Corrie! There are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety – O Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!”
I am thinking about how that truth should change my life. What does it look like to fully trust God? Not to say that I trust God, but really to trust Him.
Here are a few of the things I have thought of that I am working on:
- I wouldn’t question so often the plans and providences God ordain to guide my way.
- I wouldn’t worry so much about knowing the right thing to do tomorrow instead of doing the right thing today.
- I wouldn’t ever look back and say ‘what if’ this had happened, or ‘what if’ that hadn’t happened.
- I wouldn’t doubt whether the present circumstances were really the best that could be.I am trying to live in the peace of trusting My heavenly Father and His plans right now. How will your life change as you remember that “there are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world”?
Most of the time, I do not openly admit that I am thinking in these ways. But when I am honest with myself the worry, the fear, the strain from trying to accomplish my own plans instead of waiting for His, all stem from a lack of trusting God.
I am trying to live in the peace of trusting My heavenly Father and His plans right now. How will your life change as you remember that “there are no ‘if’s’ in God’s world”?
In our Risen Savior!
“I asked for bread: God gave a stone instead.
Yet while I pillowed there my weary head,
The angels made a ladder of my dreams,
Which upward to celestial mountains led.
And when I woke, beneath the morning’s beams,
Around my resting place fresh manna lay;
And, praising God, I went upon my way.
For I was fed.” – J. R. Miller
R. Miller was a pastor and author in the 1800s. His life moto was ‘Jesus and I are Friends.’ In preaching, writing, and personal ministry his purpose was to introduce others to his Friend. His was a ministry of comfort and encouragement both to those who had never met the heavenly Friend and to those who needed to know Him better.
This poem is from his short devotional work The Master’s Blesseds which is a short yet profound look into the beatitudes of our Lord.
A castle in the beautiful mountains of Central Europe was guarded by sentinels whose job was to watch the countryside day and night. They daily viewed a beautiful valley of meadows and fields, fruit trees and rivers, but I am sure that after many months and years of the same view, the sentinels ceased to notice as much of its beauty. If they were like many of us, they would even have complained at having to stand there. And yet one of us would be thrilled to have that view for a day.
Often in our lives the beautiful things all around us tend to blur in the haste and busyness of life. Creation and family and love tend not to have the effect on us that they would if we had never seen them before.
When we are saved, we are made a new creature. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17. Because we are made new we can take fresh delight in the beauty around us.
Come up my soul, in Christ abide
Within the Rock of Ages hide.
He is Thy strength and Thine abode,
Thy refuge is almighty God.
Rise up, O soul, Thy sin confess
That thou in Jesus Christ may rest,
Put off the flesh and all its ways
And don Christ’s robes throughout thy days.
Be gone old man and flee away,
This day is God’s, to Him I pray;
His pow’r is greater than thine own
And I will live before His throne.
O Lord come down and meet with me
Thy presence and Thy strength I’d see,
Fix Thou my eyes on things above
And help me praise Thee for Thy love.
Christina Joy Hommes
“Attempt great things for God. Expect great things from God.” – William Carey
illiam Carey is often called ‘the father of modern missions.’ He went to India in the early 19th century never to return to his native England where an association of ministers supported him. William Carey ministered, preached, and translated for seven years before seeing fruit from his labours. Though he was known by many of the highest officials in India, he told a friend as he was dying, “When I am gone, say nothing about William Carey – speak only about William Carey’s Savior.”
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure –
The saint’s and angels’ song.
– Attributed to Meir Ben Isaac Negoral, c. 1050
his is one of my favorite verses of poetry. It so vividly exalts God. I love the way the author (and translator) used language to create a clear picture of the immensity and greatness of just one of God’s attributes.