Invite God into Your Life
May 2, 2022
Nayaswami Gyandev shares this moving story and inspiration during his Sunday Service at Ananda Village, May 1st 2022. You can find the complete talk here.
One of my favorite stories of someone inviting in this—in the presence of a very difficult circumstance, inviting God in—is a very simple little vignette from the life of Corrie ten Boom.
She lived in Holland during the Second World War. Her family was a Christian family. And they were engaged in the highly illegal practice of sheltering Jews from the Nazis. And they succeeded for quite some time.
But, like so many others who were sheltering Jews from the Nazis, they were discovered and put in concentration camps. And she spent a good deal of time in concentration camp, along with her sister, for as long as her sister survived. Her sister did not make it to the end of the war.
But after the war was over—they were very, very strong Christians and they practiced diligently their faith in the concentration camp. And after the war was over, Corrie traveled around the world speaking of faith in God, faith in Jesus.
And one time, she was speaking to a group of people, and she saw in the back of the room one of the guards from the concentration camp. And, of course, what would that do to you? I mean, here the most horrible experience—probably more horrible than any of us can imagine—and there she is, seeing him, who is sort of a symbol of all that. And here she was talking about God's forgiveness: how God would forgive anyone for anything.
After the talk, a number of—many people—would come up to her just to greet her, to shake her hand. And at one point, she saw in the line of people she was waiting for—that's right—the former guard from the concentration camp, coming toward her minute by minute, getting nearer. He was going to want to shake her hand.
And he finally came to her, finally got to her, and said, "I'm so happy that God will forgive me for what I've done. I'm just...Thank you, thank you so much!"
And then he said, "Can you forgive me?" And Corrie was quite sure she could not—totally understandable. But she had the faith. She had the the connection, to say, "Think inside: 'No, I can't forgive him. But Jesus, you can forgive him through me.'"
And she grasped his hand and just said she felt a power of love moving through her, into this man—a forgiveness. And the man felt it, too. There she was in this...in this. It's something the ego cannot possibly do.
But we don't have to worry about what the ego can or cannot do. All we have to think about is what God can do, what God can do through us if we will just open up—if we will just not be passively open.
Invite—not just politely invite. Lovingly demand, "God, You need to come into this circumstance. You need to come through me into this circumstance. Help lift me out of thinking that this is all about the little me. Help me to know that it's all about the big You. And that that big You is also my reality."
May we all feel that more and more in our lives. God bless you.