I’ve always loved to read stories about people who praised God no matter what. One person I’ve always admired is Corrie ten Boom. Corrie was a Christian who lived in Holland and was such a strong believer in following Jesus, she risked her own life to protect her Jewish friends and neighbors during World War II. The Nazis caught her, though, and threw her into prison.
After the war was over, Corrie was released from the concentration camp. She was so grateful to God for the way He had protected her from the horrors of the camp. She started traveling all over the world to tell people about God’s love and forgiveness. Many people came to know her story, and Corrie became famous for her strong faith in Jesus.
Whenever she spoke at big churches, people crowded around her and said, “Oh, what a great saint of God you are,” or “I’m amazed you were able to forgive the Nazi soldiers who beat you when you were in the concentration camp.” These people were very kind, but Corrie felt a little embarrassed. They were putting her on a pedestal, and she felt uncomfortable with that. She had never wanted people to be amazed by her—that wasn’t why she had protected Jewish people. She had simply done what Jesus had asked her to do, and she wanted Him to have all the glory.
Tired of hearing people praise her instead of God, Corrie came up with a plan. Patiently, she listened to the wonderful things people said to her, accepting each compliment as though it were a rosebud. She gathered many blessings that way, just like gathering a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Every evening she remembered all the nice things people had said about her and presented all those compliments as a big bouquet of praise to God. She would say, “Lord Jesus, this person was amazed I could forgive, but You are the one who forgave the most when You were on the cross.” Or, “Lord Jesus, a person told me today that she thought I was a great Christian, but there are no great Christians—only a great Savior.”
Corrie pointed others to Jesus as the source of her joy and positivity, and she praised Jesus for every good thing that had happened to her. She believed what the hymn says: “To God be the glory.” All the praise and compliments she received were because of God, and she offered them back to Him with a smiling face and a thankful heart.
Once there was a sweet blind girl named Fanny Crosby. Even though she lived her whole life in the dark, she kept smiling. Fanny loved taking long walks with her grandmother in the field around their farmhouse, smelling the meadow flowers, dangling her feet in the trickling brook, listening to the birds singing, and feeling the wind through the trees. Her grandmother also read lots of books to Fanny, including great classic books, poetry, and the Bible. Repeating the words her grandmother read, Fanny learned to memorize huge portions of the Bible.
When she was eleven, Fanny prayed, “Dear Lord, please show me how I can learn like other children.” The next year, her prayer was answered when she was accepted into the New York Institute for the Blind. At the new school, Fanny learned to play the organ, piano, guitar, and harp, and she excelled as the top student in music, literature, history, and languages.
Fanny wrote over nine thousand poems in her life. One of those poems was “To God Be the Glory,” which she wrote to tell everyone that God is the one who answered her prayers and dreams.
The above excerpt is from Timeless Hymns for Family Worship by Joni Eareckson Tada and Bobbie Wolgemuth. Joni and Bobbie invites your family to rediscover some of the Christian faith’s most beloved songs and find comfort and hope in the powerful truths in the music that has inspired generations of believers. Experience the blessing of family worship.