We are continuing a video project with our church. We have had the joy of doing videos of interviews with various people telling their faith stories.
Each of us has a story. God is in the midst of every story. What we believe is our history is really His-Story, God’s story told through His Creations.
Today we heard an amazing story from a German labor camp survivor. Interestingly she has not let that bit of her history define her life. There were many more chapters after that.
She was asked if she was aware of God when she was in that camp as a child. She said she was aware, not because anyone told her about Him, but because of what she saw and felt.
She told of looking through the gate to the outside and seeing another world of sky, sunshine, clouds and trees. She said she knew there must be a Creator Who made them all.
She said she felt if He made all she could see, then He must have made her too. And she felt He would take care of her.
She said when her feet were cold and she discovered she could warm them up by rubbing her feet back and forth against the ground, she felt her Creator was telling her what to do.
She also said, looking at the world outside the gate, she knew there was something beyond what she was experiencing inside, and it gave her hope that one day she would get to go outside.
It would be wonderful to say she lived happily ever after. But life is not really that way all the time.
Among other challenges, she survived the loss of two husbands and two children. She said one son wanted to live in this world, but couldn’t because he had cancer. The other son couldn’t live in this world because he suffered from depression and took his own life.
She was also hit by a truck and suffered debilitating back injuries. She also had shoulder surgery on both shoulders. Even today, she has to position herself carefully to deal with residual physical issues.
Hers was a story that was realistically raw and full of pain. And yet at every turn, she told of victory and deliverance. The person we saw today was not just a survivor. She was a missionary of Joy!
For every sentence of grief and pain, she had multiple statements of God’s Mercy and Grace.
When asked to comment on the word, “Joy,”she said, “Sometimes you have to experience great sorrow to be able to fully experience great joy. When the joy comes after the sorrow, it is so much greater!”
She is still looking out at the larger world and she sees all the possibilities waiting. I want to be like Elsbeth when I grow up! What a blessing it was to hear her story.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all!
2 Corinthians 4:17
You have shown me the path to life, and you make me glad by being near to me. Sitting at your right side, I will always be joyful!