Over the past few months, I have started a new habit; listening to novels on audio. It adds excitement to my fifteen minute drive to the gym and doing laundry. I have really enjoyed it. At first, I was listening to some great Christian novels; the best love stories and interesting historical fiction. Recently, God prompted me to start listening to some Christian memoirs. Not that fiction is bad, but He wanted me to listen to some real stories that HE scripted! And they were just what I needed for this trying times.
When I started searching up different books to listen to, the memoirs that came up included the not-so-light topics of human trafficking, surviving the holocaust, racial tension, and grief. I was like “Really God? But I am enjoying the ‘guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after’ stories. The stories You have suggested seem so heavy.” But He didn’t budge. So I chose to listen to The Hiding Place by Corrie Tem Boom.
This is the testimony of a woman and her family who lived in Holland during the rise and fall of Nazi Germany. They were believers who helped to hide Jews during the war. The story goes on to tell of her journey with Christ as she experiences arrest and great persecution in Hitler’s concentration camps. She transparently shares how her faith at times waned; and how her sister’s trust in God and ability to forgive brought her much needed encouragement.
The book is filled with God winks. Times when He poured out His favor over them so they could have an extra piece of bread, a preferable work assignment, a jar of vitamin oil that didn’t run dry, and the most special gift, a copy of The Bible. Her story shows how even in the worst of conditions; Corrie and her sister Betsy still shared and preached the hope of Jesus Christ.
The Impact of a Great Story
In light of what is going on in these most recent days with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ over in Afghanistan, the reading of this book is so timely. It has given me a new compassion and urge to pray for the strength and the perseverance of these Christ followers in the face of persecution. It has increased my faith to believe that God will create a way out of no way, and offer a supernatural protection when things look dark and dismal.
The other thing this book has encouraged me to think about and act on is the importance of sharing the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ right where you are; no matter what your circumstances.
What About Your Testimony?
My guess is most people reading this haven’t experience the prisons of Nazi Germany. But truth be told, Jesus has released each one of us from our own imprisonment.
Did you know your story could be just the thing someone is waiting to hear? God can use YOUR words to stir up their hope, encourage them to trust Him, and forgive someone from their past?
If God is calling you to share your story, we would love to walk that journey with you. I understand it isn’t always easy to revisit the pain and trials of your life, but by sharing the story God wrote in your life, it could be the encouragement someone else needs to step out of their own prison.
Sharing your story doesn’t require you to write a whole book! Your testimony could be a blog post or as a chapter in an anthology. Your church, small group, or child’s school might just be looking for someone to share that nugget of encouragement during trying times. The truth is, God can’t use it if it isn’t written down.
If you are still struggling and looking for some encouragement, read or listen to a memoir and experience for yourself the power and faith that is released hearing of what God has done in someone else’s life!