We can thank God in any situation.
During the Second World War, Corrie Ten Boom and her sister Betsy were prisoners in Ravensbruck Nazi Concentration camp. It was built to accommodate 4,000 prisoners, but became home to 36,000 prisoners crowded into barracks which were infested with fleas. In her prayers, Betsy even thanked God for them. Corrie responded, “The fleas! This was too much. “Betsy, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.” “Give thanks in all circumstances” she quoted. “It doesn’t say in pleasant circumstances. Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.” And so we stood between the tiers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas but this time I was sure Betsy was wrong.”
Although under strict supervision by cruel prison guards, Betsy started a small service with some of their fellow prisoners. Over time it started to grow. They expected the guards to intervene and stop them, perhaps even punish them, but they mysteriously never did. Later they discovered that the guards refused to enter their barracks because of the flea infestation.
There would be no miracles without extreme circumstances or problems. We admire the faith and miracle stories of Bible characters such as Joseph, David and Daniel, but don’t want to be sold into slavery, imprisoned unfairly, facing a fierce giant, or in a den with lions!
The truth is that God with us in every situation. When we thank Him we invite Him to intervene and do what only He can do.
Romans 8:38-39 “for I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We can have this confidence come what may. We also have the Holy Spirit to fill our heats with gratitude for the roles that we are given to play where He has placed us.
Photo credit: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Courtesy of National Archives
A Prisoner and Yet … by Corrie Ten Boom.