In this post, I review my all-time favorite book, Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose.
“The words of Hebrews 11:1 welled up, unbeckoned, to fill my mind: ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ The evidence of things not seen. Evidence not seen–that was what I put my trust in– not in feelings or moments of ecstasy, but in the unchanging Person of Jesus Christ. Suddenly I realized that I was singing:
When darkness veils His lovely face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy galie
My anchor holds whithin the veil
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand”
This snippet summarizes the painful yet beautiful journey you’ll embark on when you open Evidence Not Seen. Darlene Deibler Rose shares her story as one of the first Caucasian women to make the trek into the interior of New Guinea. Ministry there with her husband, Russell, was difficult, and only grew more intense after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Through a chaotic turn of events, Russell and Darlene were separated and taken prisoner by the Japanese. Thus ensued the darkest days Darlene had ever faced.
Hunger, loneliness, and torture in a POW camp afflicted Darlene for months upon months. Yet it was through her most agonizing trials that she sensed the presence of her Lord in the most incredibly real and personal way.
[Minor spoiler] Darlene shares a time when she experienced an intense craving for bananas. Very ill and in solitary confinement, nothing sounded as wonderful as a fresh banana. She asked the Lord to provide one, but her prayer lacked hope. Surely a banana in these dire circumstances was far too much to request. To her utter shock, God provided not one banana, but ninety-two. Darlene expresses her reaction to this gift:
“In all my spiritual experience, I’ve never known such shame before the Lord. I pushed the bananas into a corner and wept before Him. ‘Lord, forgive me; I’m so ashamed. I couldn’t trust You enough to get even one banana for me. Just look at them—there are almost a hundred.’ In the quiet of the shadowed cell, He answered back within my heart: ‘That’s what I delight to do, the exceeding abundant above anything you ask or think.’ I knew in those moments that nothing is impossible to my God.”
This is but an insufficient taste of the emotion, the anguish, and the sweetness that is conveyed throughout the pages of Darlene’s story. Hers is an account of hardship yes, of trials, yes, but ultimately of comfort in looking to the cross, of complete fulfillment in knowing Christ, and of the victory that can be found only in a life surrendered to the Savior. The believer cannot read Evidence Not Seen and not be moved, inspired, and challenged. I highly recommend it. Note: I found this book a little slow in the beginning, but a few chapters through, I could hardly put it down.