Be Thankful…Even for Fleas

Posted on: 7-15-112012

In her book “The Hiding Place” Corrie ten Boom recounts a story about a lesson she learned during World War II while being imprisoned at a concentration camp.  She tells how horrible their living conditions were at that time.  There were over 1,400 women in a one room building that had been built to house only 400 prisoners.  The floors were covered in flea-infested straw.  It didn’t take long for the fleas to leave all of the women covered in itchy bites.  Corrie admits that the only thing that kept them going was the fact that they had a Bible which her sister, Betsie, read to the women.  They knew they were taking a great risk by having the forbidden Bible.  If the guards discovered it, it would have been confiscated and the consequences would have been brutal for the women.  However, the guards never discovered their Bible because they never came to the room where the women were housed.  So, Betsie continued her reading every day.  One day, she read the following verse to the women:

“Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Then she proceeded to start thanking God for everything she could think of…including the fleas.  Corrie tells how she was all for thanking God, but at the fleas, she had to draw the line…she could not agree with her sister on that.  Betsie insisted, reminding her that the Scripture said “ALL circumstances”.  So, they thanked Him for the fleas.  Eventually, the women learned that they did need to be thankful for the fleas because it was those very fleas that enabled them to never be discovered with the Bible.  The guards would not step foot in that room because of the infestation of fleas. The women realized that God had used the fleas to keep the guards away from them and this allowed them to read His Word which was the only thing that gave them any hope while imprisoned! We, too, should be thankful in ALL situations!  Sometimes, it may seem impossible to be thankful for our situation, but we need to be thankful anyway…even for the “fleas” in our life.  We never know how God may be using those “fleas” for our good!

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28


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