I am participating in the Renovaré Book Club this year, and currently we're reading Corrie ten Boom's famous book The Hiding Place. I read this for the first time years ago, and it's been a delight to reread it after so long. I'd forgotten about many of the nuggets of wisdom scattered through its pages.
When Corrie is a young girl, she comes face-to-face with death for the first time. It terrifies her. As she sobs to her Father, he speaks a word of wisdom I've been thinking about a lot this week:
Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam - when do I give you your ticket?"
I sniffed a few times, considering this.
"Why, just before we get on the train."
"Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need - just in time."
- The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
Don't run out ahead of Him.
Certainly we do this with death - as young Corrie did - morbidly meditating on our own demise or that of those we love, wondering how we'll cope, how we'll be strong enough to bear it.
But we do this with other things as well. Our anxious hearts go running "out ahead," fearful of how we'll make ends meet financially, if a relationship will survive, how we'll be able to endure a sickness. Our minds run the labyrinth - tracing every possible eventuality. We are fearful of how we'll have the grace and strength to endure - not only today but weeks, months, and years from now. We run out ahead.
You can hear the echoes of her father's wisdom in what Corrie would later say herself: “Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
My friends, our gracious Father has promised us grace upon grace. In every season. In every sorrow. In every joy. In all things - he gives us grace and strength for each day. Stay with Him - calm and secure in today's grace. Don't run out ahead of Him.