We Are Guardians of God’s Mysteries: A Corrie ten Boom Reflection

May 2 is national Days of Remembrance, an annual day to remember the six million Jews murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in the Holocaust.

The Ten Boom family of Haarlem, Netherlands, hid, fed, and cared for Jews during World War 2 in their home above their father’s watchmaker shop. Eventually, the entire family was arrested and sent to concentration camps, where many of them died.

Their story is chronicled in Corrie ten Boom’s best-selling book, The Hiding Place.

The below is excerpted from I Stand at the Door and Knock: Meditations by the Author of The Hiding Place, a collection of 40 never-before-published messages from Corrie ten Boom.* Her spiritual insights and vivid illustrations remain timeless and relevant for our times and for how they address the spiritual condition of man.

We offer it as a way to remember the survivors and victims of the Holocaust, as well as those who risked their lives to protect their Jewish neighbors.


By Corrie ten Boom

In 1 Corinthians 4:1–2 Paul talks about Christ’s servants who have been entrusted with God’s mysteries. Such a guardian needs to prove to be reliable. Actually, it did not originally say servants or guardians, but stewards.

We first need to know what is meant by God’s mysteries. What are they? Well, we can read about them in the Bible. God has revealed them to us. We understand a lot about the mysteries once we have opened our hearts to the Lord Jesus. He reveals them to us through His Spirit. And we should pass them on. I will mention one of them, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”[pullquote]

Each Christian should be a missionary. You in your small corner, and I in mine.[/pullquote]

If we are prepared to accept this amazing mystery of God, we need to pass it on. . . .

Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). It means that each Christian should be a missionary. You in your small corner, and I in mine. Is it possible? Of course, it is. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” We need not rely on our own capabilities but on God’s. We need not depend on our limited strength but on his unlimited power. Does this really mean that each Christian, whether called to be a housewife, a factory worker, or a tradesman, is in charge of God’s mysteries? Are they stewards of His mysteries?

My father had a watchmaker’s shop. He would sometimes say to me, “My name is on the shop, while it’s God’s name that should be on it. I’m a watchmaker by the grace of God.” Each Christian is building the kingdom of God, no matter whether you’re a watchmaker, a mason, a housewife, or a professor, or whenever [sic] you may be called to be. . . .

We are only asked to be faithful. Isn’t it wonderful that we don’t even need to try and be faithful relying on our own strength? In Galatians 5:22 we read about the fruit of the Spirit, which also includes faithfulness. We will work together: he who commands us to be faithful on the one hand and us on the other. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” Holding Jesus’ hand, we remain faithful. And we can see our calling, even though everything may seem dark and lost.

. . . Whoever believes in me, says the Lord, in the works I do, will do them too, and they will be greater than mine because I am going to the Father. How is that possible? To perform greater things than Jesus did? You? Me? Yes, because Jesus is at the right hand of God the Father, and he will do great things, greater than he did in his three-and-a-half years in [Israel], but he’s doing it through his followers. You and me.

And that is how he turns us into his stewards, guardians of God’s mysteries.1

*This excerpt is lighted edited for readability. The post’s title is the addition of an editor.

  1. Ten Boom, Corrie, I Stand at the Door and Knock: Meditations by the Author of The Hiding Place, (Zondervan), 2008.
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