Thankful for Fleas

HookeFlea01What are you grateful for on this Thanksgiving Day? Family? Health? Faith? How about … fleas?

In The Hiding Place, author Corrie ten Boom tells the story of her survival in a Nazi concentration camp with her sister Betsie after they were caught hiding Jews.  They lived in miserable, overcrowded, flea-infested barracks. A Bible smuggled into the prison encouraged the two Christian sisters to be thankful for everything, even their enemies, so they thanked God for their captors. But when Betsie thanked God for the fleas, her sister Corrie objected, “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”

Despite tight security, the sisters began holding worship services. Corrie later recalled, “They were services like no others, these times in Barracks 28.” A growing circle of women gathered at the back of the dormitory as one of the ten Booms read from the Bible illuminated by a tiny light bulb. They were amazed that the vigilant guards never broke up their meetings or ever entered the room. Later they learned why. “It was the fleas!” Betsie declared to her sister in triumph. The fleas were guardian angels who kept the guards away.

This Thanksgiving give thanks for both the good things God sends your way and the bad, because even a flea can be a blessing in disguise.

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).


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Filed under books, devotionals, holidays

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