Thankful for the fleas? Seriously? Betsie and Corrie ten Boom were.
Near the end of World War II when Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie first entered their barracks at the notorious women’s death camp, Ravensbruck, where over ninety-six thousand women died, besides the stench of backed up plumbing and rancid bedding, they discovered their new residence was swarming with fleas. As Betsie prayed, she told Corrie they were to be thankful in all circumstances. Even for the fleas.
Corrie agreed to be thankful the two of them were still together. She agreed to be thankful they were able to smuggle in their Bible. But when Betsie told Corrie to be thankful for the fleas, she balked. Surely God did not expect Corrie to be thankful for the fleas that bit her.
It wasn’t until Betsie was assigned to a knitting job in their barracks with some of the other prisoners, that Corrie understood to be thankful for the fleas. You see, because of the fleas, the guards refused to enter the barracks. Without the guards coming in, Betsie was able to read aloud from their forbidden Bible to the other ladies in the group. Not only did the fleas allow Betsie to read the Bible to those around her, it also protected the women in the barracks from being assaulted by the male guards.
Not only during this time of Thanksgiving, but everyday, may we be like Betsie and Corrie. May we decide to be thankful for the fleas, however they manifest themselves in our lives.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lordis the great God,
And the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
And His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you will hear His voice:
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ” Psalm 95
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I wish you well.
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Photo by Terren Hurst on Unsplash