Sorrowfully, we just finished our latest family read-aloud, Things We Couldn’t Say, by Diet Eman. Both heart-breaking and inspiring, it tells the story of Diet and her companions in the Dutch Resistance during World War II.
At one point, Diet is arrested by the Nazis while carrying documents that would require her immediate execution. What could she do? Several Nazi captors surrounded her at the train station.
Suddenly, all of the soldiers are focused on one tall man in their group, mesmerized by his military coat made of the new wonder material, plastic. Seizing the opportunity, Diet hurls the incriminating parcel of papers as far as she can. Captivated by plastic, the soldiers don’t notice. Diet will live! Gratefully, she realizes that though she did not pray for this raincoat, God knew what she needed before she did.
Last year, I mouthed a prayer without any pre-meditation: “Lord, if we can get five of our six airline tickets with frequent flyer miles, I want to go to the Dominican Republic to visit our Compassion sponsored children.” Frankly, I didn’t calculate that we needed exactly five free tickets to meet our budget. Nor did I expect that we were even close to having enough frequent flyer miles for five flights. It was simply God knowing before I did.
Truly, the Lord Jesus wanted us to go to the Dominican Republic, an assurance we would need later when not all went as expected. Similarly, the Lord had a plan for Diet. Although she was not executed, she still suffered a lengthy stay in Nazi prison camps. When the fearful day of her hearing arrived, the soft voice of God comforted her, “Don’t be afraid. They cannot hurt a hair on your head unless it’s the will of your heavenly Father.”
Corrie ten Boom is perhaps my all-time favorite member of the Dutch Resistance. In The Hiding Place, she quotes her sister, Betsie, who sums it up well: “The center of His will is our only safety—Oh, Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it.”