Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsie were held in multiple German concentration camps back in World War II for helping Jews in Amsterdam. They were living according to their strong core’s and taking a beating for it. They were going through an extreme test of faith as their tormentors took them through one suffer fest and then another. You can read about them and six other strong women of faith, in Eric Metaxas worthy read titled, 7 Women. I consider books like this an anti-depressant of sorts – after reading ’em I find myself unable to whine, at least for awhile.
One particularly discouraging day, Corrie noticed their tiny prison cell was flea infested to boot. As Corrie cursed her plight and her oppressor, her sister offered her some ccd wisdom. She counciled Corrie to thank God for everything in their barrack including the fleas. To make it worse, she went to the extreme of quoting 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, thanks to sister Betsie’s rather rough council, Corrie listened to her truth teller and thanked God for everything. She thanked God for fleas.
I cannot imagine being thankful for fleas. Can you?
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? You guessed it, the guards were afraid of fleas. So, the fleas saved them from further torment and protected them, in a funny way, from their oppressors. Corrie learned to thank God for fleas. As we American’s celebrate Thanksgiving, what flea bags can we become thankful for? I certainly have much good going on and few fleas to find. God, help me be thankful for my slights, my sorry skin, and my struggles within. God, help me learn in everything to give thanks. My gosh have I a long way to go. Thanks, Corrie and Betsie for modeling the way. What, friend, do you need to learn to thank God for?
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…