Imprisoned by the Nazis in Ravensbrück, Corrie ten Boom and the other women in her barracks regularly gathered to covertly read from a smuggled Bible. “The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God,” ten Boom wrote in The Hiding Place. They’d crowd around the Bible “like waifs clustered around a blazing fire … holding out our hearts to its warmth and light.”
Though ten Boom had believed and loved the Bible throughout her life, in the brutal conditions of a concentration camp—enduring daily threats and violence, surrounded by evil and death—God’s Word spoke to her with a new potency. “Sometimes I would slip the Bible from its little sack with hands that shook, so mysterious had it become to me,” she said. It was as if “it was new; it had just been written. I marveled sometimes that the ink was dry.”
We, too, can open the familiar Book and encounter unexpected mystery. Well-worn passages we can recite by heart suddenly speak in new ways directly to our hearts. Stories we already know somehow know us. We read, and the living and active Word does its sharp work, convicting us about our innermost thoughts and attitudes (Heb. 4:12). We study, and amid the words we pore over, we encounter the Word of Life himself (1 John 1:1).
Evangelical women have a high commitment to Scripture; in fact, several studies demonstrate that American Christian women read the Bible more frequently than Christian men. The articles below were all featured in our CT special issue, “Why Women Love the Bible.” In these articles, we highlight Scripture’s power in the lives of those facing persecution, persevering amid racism, and enduring life’s storms. We highlight women in church history who studied Scripture as well as women today who turn to it for prayer and evangelism.
For many of us, 2020 has been a difficult year. While the Bible always speaks to us, in good times as well as bad, hardships can deepen our sense of how profoundly we need and desire the “blazing fire” of God’s Word. May it ever burn bright in our lives.
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