Corrie ten Boom, the youngest child of a jeweler and watchmaker, became the first woman to be licensed as a watchmaker in the Netherlands in 1922. Corrie, a devout Christian, also started a youth club for teenage girls, where she would teach Bible, sewing, and other creative skills.
Exactly 79 years ago, in May of 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. One of the first gatherings they banned was Corrie’s youth club. Over the next few years, Corrie’s family became active in the Dutch underground, hiding and providing safe refuge for Jews and vulnerable members of the Dutch Resistance, driven by their faith. The Gestapo raided their home, known as The Hiding Place, in 1944, and Corrie and her family were taken to concentration camps, where she continued to lead Bible studies and worship in the midst of the worst conditions. Even after she was miraculously released, she continued to care for those who had been deemed “less than human” by the Nazis. There isn’t time or space here to tell the rest of her story, but this is the common thread: no matter how dark her future seemed, she trusted in the God she knew so well. She testified to His goodness in the storm.
Later in life, when she told her story around the world, she would hold up this tapestry, showing her audience only the back of the fabric.
From this perspective, it makes little sense. It looks chaotic. It looks like a random mess!
This is similar to how we view the circumstances in our lives and world much of the time. From our limited perspective, sometimes we question God’s plan. We wonder about His goodness.
Then she would slowly turn the tapestry over to reveal this beautiful, bejeweled crown.
“This is what God sees…from His perspective…a masterpiece!”
The book of Ruth – especially the concluding chapter – is a gift from God that allows us to catch a beautiful glimpse of the front of the tapestry.
In the beginning of Ruth, Naomi sees only the back of the fabric – and questions God in the midst of it.
But by the end of the story, the women who have witnessed the redemption of Naomi and Ruth by Boaz speak this truth over Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.”
What looked like a tangled mess of disconnected threads at the beginning of the story, turned out to be the most beautiful of tapestries. This story results in Ruth giving birth to a son, Obed, whose grandson David would become King of Israel. And then – generations later – the same line would produce the King of Kings, Jesus.
Today, if you find yourself looking at your life, dismayed by a tangled mess of strings, remember this: the underside of the tapestry can be deceiving and confusing. Generations of believers have bore witness to the glory and beauty of the story He is weaving. Believe He is faithful, and hope in Him for the future.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. – Corrie ten Boom