Empty-Handed Before God

The following scene unfolds in the book, The Hiding Place, when Corrie’s aunt learns that she has only a short while to live. Her family tried to comfort her with thoughts of how much good she would bring with her to her Heavenly Father. Jans understood better, and her prayer is worth our attention.


But our well-meant words were useless. In front of us the proud face crumpled; Tante Jans put her hands over her eyes and began to cry. ”Empty, empty!” she choked at last through her tears. ”How can we bring anything to God? What does He care for our little tricks and trinkets?”

And then as we listened in disbelief she lowered her hands and with tears still coursing down her face whispered, ”Dear Jesus, I thank You that we must come with empty hands. I thank You that You have done all—all on the Cross, and that all we need in life or death is to be sure of this.”

Mama threw her arms around her and they clung together. But I stood rooted to the spot, knowing that I had seen a mystery.

[From: The Hiding Place, chapter 3 (sorry, no page numbers from audio recordings)]


Part of becoming a believer in Christ is grasping that you truly bring nothing, absolutely nothing, to the table. You do nothing to earn even a smidgen of God’s favor. His love, his mercy, his allowing of you into his family is 100% of grace.

1 thought on “Empty-Handed Before God”

  1. I have just started listening to The Hiding Place on CD and heard that section just this morning as I drove to work. It brought me to tears as I reflected on the beauty of its truth.
    Thanks for your comment. 🙂


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