“If you don’t like your lot in life, build a service station on it” (Corrie ten Boom)

Corrie ten Boom had a detestable lot in life. So she used it as a platform from which to serve and encourage and strengthen others.

What is a service station? It’s a place to refuel. While traveling, we stop at a service station to fill our tank so we can make it the next leg of the journey.

I stopped at Corrie ten Boom’s service station when I was a teenager. Reading her story in The Hiding Place gave me some crucial insights. I learned that God doesn’t always intervene to protect his people from pain and terror. But he is with them each step of the horrible way. Corrie was an ordinary Christian who chose to hide a few Jews from the Nazis because it was the right thing to do—let the consequences be what they may. Later, she chose to forgive the concentration camp guards who had tortured her and killed her sister.

Her lot in life was a terrible one.

What did she do with it?

She lived it courageously and shared it willingly. I read her story and was fueled with courage and confidence. Why should I dread whatever horrors life might bring? Look at how God was with Corrie ten Boom in the worst situation imaginable. Apparently it’s true that absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God. He gave her strength and his own presence. He’ll do the same for me and for you.

Think about the life you’re living right now. What’s the worst aspect of it? Could that be the very foundation of your life message? Perhaps it’s in that difficulty or that pain or that ugly unpleasantness or that boredom—the very thing you would run away from if you could—perhaps that’s the vehicle for your transformation and then your service to others.

Are you already experiencing this? Do you know of other people whose unfortunate lot in life turned out to be an opportunity for service? I’d love to hear about it.

written by

I am a Christian thinker, reader, and writer, who never travels without chocolate. See the “About” page for details.
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2 Responses to "B–Build"

  1. Kathy Adams says:

    Hmmmm, Unfortunate lot in life? How about health circumstances that rob people of “Normal?” I work at an assisted living/memory care community. I see first-hand the affects of dementia. How this condition can frustrate some and cause others to be just free in their “lostness.” Angry…yet others are joyful. I often wonder why some souls turn down an angry road, while others become content and just plain happy. This condition causes those around them to be full of many emotions. It is sometimes hard to observe this life-robbing event.

    It hits close to home for me as my mom has turned off the “Normal” path of life and has taken this dementia detour. If I am honest, some days I hate it. Most days I to pray for grace to guide and protect her and my dad. It is hard to watch as it feels like her death has already begun. I am grieving the loss of my mom, and she is still here.


    Our Lot In Life…it can change. It is redirected. It is unexpected. It is gently guided by my Lord’s Hand.
    Thanks for writing, Tracey!

    • Tracey says:

      Wow, Kathy, that is exactly what I’m talking about–the things we would never choose. It must be so so hard to see your mom lose her memory. But you’re a perfect example of turning your own challenges into ways to bless other people. The residents in your memory care community are blessed to have you! Thanks for your comment:)


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