Friday, 28 March 2014

i can't forgive

I have just finished reading Corrie ten Boom's amazing autobiography, 'The Hiding Place'. She re-tells the horrors she had to face in WW2 and her punishment for hiding Jews in her home. The book speaks of the miracles that happened to her and her sister whilst they endured in a concentration camp and how even in the most vile suffering they found things to praise God for.

In the last few paragraphs Corrie writes about a time when she met, after many years, one of the prison guards at the camp. When she looked upon him, all the old memories came flooding back to her and with them hatred welled within her. He had come to thank her for her message, of how even a sinner like himself could be saved and forgiven because of Jesus. And Corrie realised right there and then that she couldn't forgive him. But God showed her that he had forgiveness enough for him, that Jesus had died for this man, would she ask for more than that? God showed her that only through His love could she love this former prison guard. That only through God's strength was she ever going to forgive him.

Throughout my life I have heard people say 'well God helped me to forgive', statements like that never truly applied to me because the only enemies I had when I was younger was when I would fall out with one of my siblings. But over the past years,weeks and months I have grown angry. Passions stirred within me of righteous anger, anger that I didn't really know what to do with. There were so many things I couldn't handle, I saw evil everywhere I turned, and the rock of my life, my own family, were even falling apart. I grew tired, I had had enough, I couldn't take it any more, then I realised through the suffering that I really needed God. Not just to know God, not just to think about him and praise him and tell others about him, but to actually help me to live this life in the way that he planned for me to. Because only when you have been through suffering do you realise that it was all 'you' before, it was you trying in your own strength to love, to forgive, to heal, to make better. Then when you come to the end you break down and weep. You fall on your knees and say 'I just can't forgive him any more, he's broken my heart too many times. I don't think it's fair on me any more, it's just not 'human' to love him after this!' That's when God says 'I know and I've watched you carry all of that, I didn't take it from you because I wanted you to come to this place, to see me now. To realise that I'm here with more than enough love to give, that's what I do- I am love, I have an eternal love, an ever-lasting love that will overcome all evil and cleanse every sinner white as snow. I can love him for you, I can forgive him for you. Through me and me only will you realise you can.'

This is remarkable, don't you think so? Our heavenly father takes our burdens for us and loves us so much, he will help us overcome all trials, more than help us, he will forgive our enemies for us- with us!

Corrie ten Boom said that as soon as she offered her bitterness and her hatred to God, he poured through her a warmth and in an instant she could look upon that prison gaurd with love! She didn't try in her weak human efforts, she let God try, and there was love unlike any other. Corrie says that never are the floodgates so open to the ocean of God's love, than when one's loving one's enemies.

I encourage you, who will have problems and trials all of your own in this life, to just stop and cry out to our heavenly father who longs for us to surrender to him. So that you too can experience this true freedom found only through divine love.



  1. Hi Joanna,

    Great story! You have the talent to inspire people!
    I find it interesting how you adopted her message into your own life. Miss ten Boom is very well known in the Netherlands. In my country, there are some people in society, and in politics who think the German (Dutch speaking) people are better than the Muslim immigrants. We often use her story to set an example for how people are to behave now.
    I hope people keep seeing each other as their equals, and not think this person is any less because of one’s belief, or ethnicity. Over the last years, speeches have become sharper and more xenophobic. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

    I think prejudices are a bad thing. People look at someone, and they think they can label this person. This person is Jewish, so he is inferior to us, or when he is German he will be dominant and cold- hearted. When someone is English then he will be ugly and stupid. If people start seeing each other as walking stigma's, it is easy to de- humanise a certain group of people, and to call them sub- human.

    This is what miss ten Boom stood for. That people are defined by their choices and not by their come from. She kept her humanity, in a time that people were prepared to sell their neighbours for ƒ5,-

    Yours sincerely,

    Coen Christiaan

    1. I can TOTALLY agree with you there, Coen. See your xenophobic government and the xenophobic western EU are totally opposite to your beliefs and I hope you vote this May to change this and again let new immigrants (you know, those that arrive here penniless on boats or cross mined and "electrofenced" borders) straight to Western Europe (Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, France, the UK, Sweden, Denmark, etc) to claim their asylum, because since the 2003 dublin regulation they are all staying in eastern and southern Europe and that really is not what they want. They want to go to western Europe and some evil European Policy keeps them in the east and south! Time for those several millions or refugees and immigrants to go freely where they want!

      mk :)

  2. It's remarkable to have such a wonderful experience, feeling the need for the divine love!

    Human love could only go so far.. Even if two people love each other so much, their love could still be separated.

    But once their love is wrapped around God's love, those are no longer separate loves giving and sharing, but one whole unified love. :)

    Thank you so much for your post! This is the first time you talked about a suffering you've had! Thank you so much for allowing me to glimpse that part of your life :) :)

    Love(who is also God) so radiates from you! ♥

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    1. Hi Shobhendra, thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts! I am glad you enjoy my blog postings, when I am inspired I need to share it with others. This posting isn't about me though, it's about God and his mercy. Because I cannot do it in my own strength. Human strength and mortal love is so very fragile. But God gives us more than we need of his divine love. May you feel his blessing upon you today.

  4. Your immense talent shows in your writings and videos!! all inspiring...<3

  5. Very nice blog about the power of love and the strength it gives us in moments when we are weak. I believe that God has given us many extraordinary abilities including "to love" and it's all up to us to keep doing introspection and realize those when we need them most. However, i differ a little from the basic idea of god doing it for us (forgiving), rather i believe that god give us this sort of test to check whether I (his son/daughter) have the strength to make the right decision in those critical moment and that's what define a person's character. I am not saying that God doesn't play a part, as he does since he is the one who gave me this strength at the first place but he wants us to do the right thing.

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