A Review, by Beth Conway
War stories have always fascinated me; particularly World War II stories. Amongst my favourites is the TV series, ‘Band of Brothers’, the films, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, and the fictional children’s stories by Michael Morpurgo based in that time. These depict the horror of war, and show you the reality of the impact of it to an individual, as well as society.
In the past year or so, every story I have heard, read, or watched has had an increasingly emotional effect on me. It has often led me to wonder how such misery can be endured, how civilisations are able to recover, and how God could use such terror for the good of His Kingdom. These questions bothered me quite a lot, but God was ready to me some answers through a book written nearly half a century ago.
‘The Hiding Place’ by Corrie ten Boom tells the true story of a family in Holland who were affected by the Second World War, but they didn’t give in to the cruelty of the Nazis. It highlights God’s sovereignty and human weakness in all things, and the joy and hope we can have when we seek shelter in him. There are many, many lessons we could take from the life of Corrie, and her family, far more than we could include in one simple book review. Because of this, I intend to tell you why you should read it, and then I plan to share some lessons from Corrie over a few blog posts in the next month or so.
So, why should you read this book?
- It tells a good story
The Hiding Place has everything necessary to captivate readers; love, war, drama, heartbreak, conflict. It’s the story of a woman who chooses not to compromise on what she believes in despite the consequences. Not only is it jam-packed with an edge-of-your-seat plot, made more incredible because it is true, but it is also written well. It’s not too long, but there is enough detail to set your imagination on fire. Corrie write honestly and humbly, linking details from one end of the book to the other, making every sentence count.
- It proclaims a great God
If you have ever wondered why God allows suffering or how Christians can claim that God is good and loving, then this is the book for you. From the daily struggles of normal life, that we can understand, to the brutality of war, Corrie shows us that it is possible to know joy and peace. She shows us that God answers prayer, he provides, and he offers hope. Corrie is able to think of others above herself and forgive those who treated her cruelly, but she is quick to remind us that none of it is due to her. The biggest lesson she teaches us is that anything good that comes out of us is only because a great and loving God makes us able. His love is the only thing that can make us anything but selfish. If He is able to make Corrie want to give sacrificially to strangers in a concentration camp, then I can trust that He can also make me want to wash the dishes without grumbling. He is a God who is mighty to save, even in the worst of circumstances. This book allows us to see His light throughout the darkness of the world that we live in.
You don’t need to love Jesus to enjoy this book. You don’t need to be clever to enjoy this book. All you need is a copy of this book. So please, get online and order it. Or get to your local Christian bookshop and buy it. Download the audiobook if that’s what you’d prefer. And when you’ve read it get in touch with me to tell me what you think. My prayer is that it will impact you like it has me.