Saturday, June 11, 2011
I have been reading a most amazing book called "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom.
This is an autobiography that covers the period of the Nazi regime. Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch woman who played a major part of the Dutch underground in Holland. She and her sister Betsie were deported to Ravensbruck concentration camp where they saw and experienced horrors. Through it all, they displayed the love and forgiveness of God, and lived in thankfulness for everything.
Here's an excerpt from the book (p.198) that really touched me.
Corrie and Betsie have just arrived in their new "home" in Ravensbrook and discovered it is infested with biting fleas...
"'That's it, Corrie! That's His answer. "Give thanks in all circumstances!" That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!' I stared at her; then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.
"'Such as?' I said.
"'Such as being assigned here together.'
"I bit my lip. 'Oh yes, Lord Jesus!'
"'Such as what you're holding in your hands.' I looked down at the Bible.
"'Yes! Thank You, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank You for all these women, here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.'
"'Yes,' said Betsie, 'Thank You for the very crowding here. Since we're packed so close, that many more will hear!' She looked at me expectantly. 'Corrie!' she prodded.
"'Oh, all right. Thank You for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed suffocating crowds.'
"'Thank You,' Betsie went on serenely, 'for the fleas and for--'
"The fleas! This was too much. 'Betsie, 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, it's that thankfulness that I had in mind when I saw the new Fab Fit challenge for the coming week... Walk or run out 7.5 minutes and then back. "While you are on your run/walk, look for one thing in your surroundings to be thankful for. Train your brain to focus on and seek out beauty. It is all around us."
Anyway, yesterday I was at the Relay for Life, which is held at a school track. What I mainly noticed that was beautiful to me were all the people who came out, and all the luminaries that had been purchased to honour cancer survivors and those who had died. In the midst of all that I could also be thankful for the nature surrounding us. Even with all those people the bullfrogs were still chirping... I loved it.
Well, that challenge doesn't start till Monday, but that was my practice run... I walked for a good solid hour.