Don’t Be Distressed

25 Mar

“If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.  If you look within, you’ll be depressed.  But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.”  ~ Corrie ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom, along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews avoid the Holocaust by hiding them in their own home.  Eventually, they were caught.  Corrie was arrested and sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Her most famous book, The Hiding Place, is a biography that recounts the family’s story and how Corrie found hope while she was imprisoned.

Corrie was eventually released from the camp and it was only at a much later time that she found out her release was due to a clerical error.  Shortly after her release, all the women in her cell block were marched off to the gas chamber.  Corrie lived with that realization for the rest of her days.

If anyone had a reason to be distressed, it would have been Corrie.  She was arrested for doing something that was objectively good.  She and her family were helping Jews avoid the Holocaust.  She saw violence around her in the society in which she lived as well as in the concentration camp.  She could have easily given up.  But, she did not look at the world to center herself.

If anyone had a reason to be depressed, it would have been Corrie.  I don’t know how many of us would want to live with the realization that we had escaped a horrific death merely because of a clerical error while all the people we had come to know and love had been put to death.  Many times, when a person survives an accident in which other loved ones had perished, there is a survivor’s guilt that takes over.  That guilt can lead to depression and even to suicidal thoughts or actions.

Corrie was not distressed or depressed.  Corrie was at rest because her focus was upon Jesus Christ.  In Him, she found her rest, her peace, and her consolation.  It was because of Jesus that she was able to be the exemplary person that she became.

If you look at the world around us at the present time, you cannot help but be distressed.  The world right now is doing all that it can to take our eyes off of Jesus, who is our rest, consolation, and hope.  Don’t let the world win.  Don’t look at the world around you.  Look, instead, at Jesus.  Be at rest.

FAITH ACTION:  Spend a good amount of time in prayer today centering upon Jesus.  Perhaps repeating and reflecting upon the Jesus Prayer:  “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”