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During the war, the good Dutch policeman had been in the service of the Gestapo, remaining there for the express purpose of helping the political prisoners. This man had been on duty the day that my family was arrested.
“I’ll never forget that night in the police station,” he said. “The atmosphere was more of victory than of horror at the thought of dying in prison or a concentration camp. I often tell the story of how your father, who so shortly afterwards was to die in prison, opened his Bible and read Psalm 91.”
Even after 10 years, that policeman still remembered which Psalm Father had read: “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust” (Ps. 91:1-2).
When I arrive in heaven and see my father again I shall ask him, “Do you remember that night in the police station in Haarlem?”
I think he will answer, “Yes! That was the last time we were all together.”
I shall ask, “Do you remember the policeman who was on duty?’
It is more than possible that he will reply, “No, I don’t remember,” for Father was always a very relaxed person. He never would have thought to himself, Now, I must do or say something that will be a blessing to this policeman. It was simply that his life and eyes were turned towards Jesus; so on that terrible evening he was made a mirror of God’s light.
Someday, we will ask in amazement, “Did I invite you to heaven?” Then we will learn that it was during the time we were looking unto Jesus, mirroring His joy. We are not suns to burn others with our self-goodness, just moons to reflect His clear light.
Mark 8: 34 says, “Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Denying ourselves, taking up our crosses, and following Jesus is not like jumping from an airplane toward earth with parachutes on our backs. Following Him means being safe in His hands—yoke-fellows with Him, His joy in us and our joy fulfilled.
Paratroopers for Jesus must trust Him. Our commission is to bring the gospel to the whole world. For this task, Jesus has promised us His Holy Spirit and His power to do the work (see Acts 1:8).
When we trust ourselves, we are doing the wrong thing. We can fall into the error of spiritual pride on the one hand or discouragement on the other. We are really strong when we are weak, weak when we are strong.
A branch cannot bring forth fruit of itself, but however strong or weak it may be, it will bring forth much fruit if it is connected to the vine. When it is connected, the branch is given the nature of the vine (see John 15:1-8).
Following on in the footsteps of Jesus, taking the steps—yes, and the jumps into the unknown—we can become the paratroopers. We can storm the enemy’s territory and win souls for Jesus. But only if we obey.
Jesus said, “Follow Me.” Then His promise takes effect, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).
Adapted from Plenty for Everyone by Corrie ten Boom, copyright 1967. Published by Christian Literature Crusade. Used by permission.
Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was introduced to a life of sacrifice by watching her Christian parents during her early years in Haarlem, near Amsterdam. She was captured, along with her father, brother and sister, while hiding Jews in February 1944, and unexpectedly released on Dec. 28 that year. For the next 40 years, Corrie traveled the world, telling everyone that God is fully able to shine His light anywhere, even amid the worst human depravity.
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