…always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… (Ephesians 5:20, Common English Bible).
Back in our younger days, Cindy and I had a dog that got infested with fleas. She was a semi-inside dog. She lived in a room in the back of the house. To access the backyard you had to walk through this back room. This was before the days of the current, give the dog a pill and your flea problems are gone forever. We tried everything, flea shampoo, flea powder, flea collars and nothing worked. And, when you walked through this room, you were attacked by fleas. We finally solved the problem but I don’t really remember how.
Those flea attacks came back to my mind this week as I was listening to an audio book while driving. The past couple of weeks I have been listening to a couple of books by Eric Metaxas. The first was Seven Men and the Secret of Their Greatness and the other is Seven Women and the Secret of Their Greatness. The books are biographical profiles of seven men and seven women. I highly recommend both books.
Tuesday I was listening to Metaxas’ essay on Corrie Ten Boom, author of The Hiding Place. If you haven’t read The Hiding Place or some other biography of Ten Boom such as the book by Metaxas, Ten Boom and her family were at work in Nazi occupied Holland during World War II. They organized a network where they hid Jews and others the Nazis tried to exterminate until they were turned in to the Gestapo. The entire family was arrested. Corrie and her sister Becky managed to stay together until Becky died shortly before the end of the war. Both were women of great faith but Becky is the one who showed Corrie the way. One day they were having a discussion in their flea infested barracks and they began talking about giving thanks in all circumstances. Corrie just couldn’t bring herself to be thankful for fleas so she as Betsy prayed thanking God for the fleas, Corrie just prayed that God would listen to Betsy’s prayer.
Several days later Betsy came rushing to Corrie. She knew why they should be thankful for the fleas. Betsy discovered that because of the fleas the guards wouldn’t come into the barracks, giving the women, not just the Ten Booms, but all the women in the barracks a measure of privacy and freedom they would otherwise not be afforded. It was a lesson Corrie said she would never forget and that in every circumstance there was some reason to give thanks.
I thought about that flea infested dog and room in the back of our house. I thought about how miserable it felt to be attacked by the fleas when you just walked through the room. As I listened to Metaxas’ words about Corrie and her sister I started thinking, what reason did I have to be thankful for the fleas in my house. My conclusion came to the dog. Without the dog I wouldn’t have had the fleas, but I also wouldn’t have had the dog our family loved and enjoyed.
Sometimes you may have to look hard to find it, but I guess there is always a reason to give thanks.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Grace and Peace,
Copyright 2016, James “Keith” Broyles, All Rights Reserved