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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Terry Meeuwsen: The Source of My Strength

The book Hiding Place chronicles the life of Corrie ten Boom. Corrie and her family were Dutch believers who hid Jews in their home during the Nazi reign of terror. They were finally arrested and imprisoned for hiding and smuggling Jews to safety. Corrie was the only survivor.

When I consider the condition of the world today – the loss of high moral standards, the increasing instances of violence and drug use, and the basic disregard for human life – I am frightened for us as a nation and am deeply concerned for my children. In a world where rules are scorned and personal rights take precedence over all else, how do I teach my children that some things are worth dying for? Stories like Corrie’s help me to keep on keeping on in my own faith walk and to encourage my children in theirs.

Years ago, at the age of 22, a friend encouraged me to enter the Miss America Pageant. I wanted to study professionally in New York City, and the pageant scholarship was substantial enough to make that dream a reality.

But there was a process to it. You had to enter a local pageant first. If you won that, you went on to a state competition. If you won that, you competed in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for the Miss America title. Oh, the effort I put into that endeavor! It took hours, days, months of discipline and perseverance. There were mock interviews, rehearsals, and workouts. There were sessions on walking, wardrobe, cosmetics, and speech. And singing, singing, singing.

Ultimately I won, and I was given many opportunities and blessings as a result of being Miss America. But I did all that for a crown that will perish. How much more should I be willing to do for a crown that is imperishable?

The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who, in the face of impossible circumstances, persevered and were mightily used of God. I want to be the kind of woman God can count on. Yet, sometimes I look at my own weaknesses or the circumstances around me and am discouraged. I look at my children and the challenges that could face them and am afraid. But then, I lift my eyes to my heavenly Father and am reminded that He is strong.

In The Hiding Place, Corrie expresses her fear to her father and asks how she can be sure she’ll have the courage to walk out her faith if they are caught. Her father says, “Corrie, when we take a train ride, when do you get the ticket to get on the train?” Corrie answered, “When the train is ready to leave.” So it is with our God. We need to keep our heart’s attitude right, but the ability and strength to persevere come from Him.

Lord, make me a woman of conviction, willing to pay the price and finish the race. When I am weary, remind me that You are the source of my strength.

Excerpted with permission from Near to the Heart of God, by Terry Meeuwsen ©1998

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