YOU WILL BE FILLED WITH LAUGHTER
YOU WILL BE FILLED WITH LAUGHTER
Joy is one of the most beautiful gifts we receive when we accept Jesus in our hearts. I love to laugh loud, hug tight, and celebrate the big and small miracles, but I wasn´t always like this. For years, I battled with continuous sadness, a dark cloud that followed me and attacked all the beautiful things God gave me every day. I’m sorry I wasted so much time accepting that in my life until I finally made up my mind to get out of that place. The truth is, I couldn´t do it alone or in my own strength. God used the book of Philippians (which I read for 30 days, two chapters in the morning and two at night), and the life of a very brave woman named Corrie Ten Boom. Through her testimony in the book, The Hiding Place, God showed me the secret to living in His joy.
Corrie was born in Holland where her dad had a very prestigious watch-making workshop. They were a happy family that loved to serve God and their community. When the Nazis began persecuting the Jews, they made the very difficult decision to risk their lives and hide the people of God in their house. They created a passageway behind a closet in Corrie’s room to hide six or seven people for a few hours, days, or even months. After some time, they were betrayed by someone who turned them in, and the whole family was taken to the concentration camps to live a horrible nightmare.
Stripped of everything they had, they traveled on train wagons like cattle. People relieved themselves, they were crowded, without water or food, and separated from their family. Corrie and her older sister, Betsie, arrived at their destination. As of that night, they slept among cockroaches and lice. Instead of delicacies they had boiled water with potato, their warm beds became wooden beams with no mattress, and their comfortable jobs changed to working in the snow and freezing air.
All of their rights were violated, their dreams broken, and their family torn apart. Yet they found comfort, courage, and peace every night as they read the words that Apostle Paul wrote from jail in Philippians. (She had managed to hide a small New Testament inside her clothes, and that was her strength.)
I was very confronted as I read her testimony; a woman who had lost everything hadn´t lost her joy. The secret was that she had forgiven everyone who had caused her so much pain. She forgave those who turned them in, forgave the guards in the concentration camp that mistreated her, hit her, and humiliated her. She forgave those who stripped her naked and made her walk in front of them. She forgave those who participated in the physical and mental exhaustion that caused her brother, her sister, and father to die. Miraculously, the day for her freedom finally arrived. She knew God wanted her alive to share with the world the powerful message she and her sister, Betsie, had learned in the concentration camp: “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” Corrie Ten Boom lived many more years to testify that God can help us forgive the biggest injustices and that despite the terrible things we´ve had to live, God can still fill us with laughter!
By Perla Mora
Scripture to study: