Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, along with her family, sheltered Jews during the Holocaust. They were eventually caught and most of her family died in, or as a result of, prison camp. Corrie was miraculously spared and later wrote the book, The Hiding Place.
The following true account is one of many inspiring incidents she experienced during that living nightmare
Corrie and her sister, Betsie, prisoners of the Nazis, had just been transferred to the worst prison camp they had seen – the notorious Ravensbruck.
In their barracks, they were shown to a series of massive square platforms, stacked three levels high and placed so close together that people had to walk single-file to pass between them. Rancid straw was scattered over the platforms, which served as communal beds for hundreds of women. Corrie and Betsie found they could not sit upright on their own platform without hitting their heads on the deck above them. They lay back, struggling against nausea that swept over them from the reeking straw.
Suddenly Corrie started up, hitting her head on the cross-slats above. Something had bitten her leg. "Fleas!" she cried. "Betsie, the place is swarming with them!" Descending from the platform and edging down a narrow aisle, they made their way to a patch of light. "Here! And here another one!" Corrie wailed. "Betsie, how can we live in such a place?"
The Scripture reading that morning in 1 Thessalonians from their smuggled Bible had reminded them to rejoice always, pray constantly, and give thanks in all circumstances. Betsie told Corrie to stop and thank the Lord for every detail of their new living quarters. Corrie at first flatly refused to give thanks for the fleas, but Betsie persisted. Corrie finally agreed to somehow thank God even for the fleas.
During the months spent at that camp, they were surprised to find how openly they could hold Bible study and prayer meetings in their barrack without guard interference.
Several months later, they learned the guards would not enter the barracks because of the fleas.
What do you need to thank the Lord for today? Are there some irritations in your life that might be the very things God uses for His glory and your good? He is in the work of Redemption, bringing good out of evil.
As Paul triumphantly declared (Romans 8:28): "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (emphasis added).
Are there people and events in your life that are frustrating, even irritating? Is life uncertain? Is the future discouraging? Yes!
But don't miss out on something great in your future because you are grumbling about your present. Ask the Lord for a joyful heart and let the joy of the Lord be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).