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Giving thanks

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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MARYDSAN
    I was blessed to have met Corrie Ten Boom in person in 1954 while she was on her world wide tour. She spoke at our church and shared her testimony. She sat right next to my little sister. We were both so moved by what she said that day, that we were baptized shortly after. She had such great faith!
    3098 days ago
  • TIABITS
    Yes I loved the movie version of that book...so inspirational.... & so very true that we should always be greateful for what we have....thanks for reminding me of that today with your blog. emoticon
    3099 days ago
  • DEBBIEDAY
    The fleas also kept the guards out of the barracks so they were able to read and share the Word....LOve her story! Both the book and the movie -very inspirational!
    3099 days ago
  • CLAIRELINN
    It's always good for me to be reminded to thank God in ALL things. We may not know at the time why we should be thankful...but in the end we see as HE sees.

    I got to hear Corrie speak as a high school student. Made me stop and think how self centered I was...but also made me dream of what I could accomplish with His strength.

    I complain to myself about my weight and having to exercise to keep it in check...but reading your blog reminded me that I need to be thankful for the ability to do it all...for my health...for my legs and arms...and for a country where I can freely roam around without worry of someone stopping me.

    Thanks for your blog. Have a blessed weekend!
    3099 days ago
  • MCJULIEO
    The Hiding Place was a powerful movie, too. Corrie ten Boom had an amazing testimony and travelled and spoke at conferences even to a very high age (I'm thinking her nineties?)...

    Incidentally, I can't remember whether the book brought it out, but the fleas were so dreadful that the guards would not enter their barracks, so their Bible stayed unfound, and provided for some relief for the prisoners.

    She wrote several other books, and her words were always full of grace.
    3099 days ago
  • BURKEBRIZ
    I am excited for the challenge as well. The story you shared reminds me of a movie I watched called "The Devil's Arithmetic".
    3099 days ago
  • BUZYBEEDEBRA
    Thank you dear
    3099 days ago
  • GRAPEVINE60
    Thanks for sharing that. We should all look for things to be thankful for no matter what the circumstances......
    3099 days ago
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