Today, during a practice with one of my favorite clients on a roll, we talked about his recent learning from one of his trusted spiritual advisors. He’s been going through a really hard time in work and life. Really hard. His teacher listened to him describe his pain and tuned in like an animal being stalked. My client told me his advisor really nailed him with his learning. From the smile on his face, I knew the learning was profound. So, I asked him to tell me his spiritual advisors good words. He smiled and told me some ccd magic. “He told me to thank God for the struggles, all of them. And, he even scripted the prayer for me. He ended his teaching by taking me into scripture and learning from David and how God wouldn’t test me with this much if he didn’t see I could take it.”
His learning took me back to Corrie Ten Boom’s learning from her sister, Betsie, back in World War II. Corrie and Betsie were in German concentration camps for helping Jews in Amsterdam. They were going through an extreme test of faith as their tormentors took them through one extreme suffer fest and than another. Corrie was especially discouraged one day when she noticed their tiny prison cell was flea infested to boot. As Corrie cursed her plight and her oppressor, her sister offered her some ccd council. She counciled Corrie to thank God for everything in their barrack including the fleas. To make it worse she quotes scripture too. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18. So, just like my client, Corrie listened to her spiritual advisor and thanked God for everything.
Much later in their prison time it became clear that the fleas had, in fact, been a blessing. Turns out the ever present guards never came near them and refused to enter their cell. Why? They didn’t want to catch the fleas. The fleas saved them from further torment and protected them, in a funny way, from their oppressors. Corrie learned to thank God for fleas. What, friend, do you need to learn to thank God for?