The Hiding Place


Do you think you would ever be thankful for FLEAS? Corrie ten Boom was—and here's why.

In her book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom shares the story of her life. In a horrible time in the world’s history, she and her sister, who believed in Jesus, were among hundreds of thousands of people put into a big prison called a concentration camp.

Their sleeping area was only supposed to hold 400 people, but there were 1,400 women crammed inside. Their beds were straw-covered platforms—and 9 people shared a bed. The first night Corrie felt things biting her ankles and realized they were fleas! Her sister, Betsie, reminded her that the Bible says to “always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

Corrie believed she would never, ever, ever be thankful for biting fleas. Over the next few weeks, she and her sister read their Bible (which they had to hide so guards wouldn’t take it away). They studied the Bible with other prisoners and encouraged them even though everything looked hopeless. Later they found out that because of the fleas, guards wouldn’t step into that room. That’s why they had so much freedom to read and share the Bible with prisoners. That’s when Corrie saw how God used even horrible situations to work for good. She now was thankful for the fleas.

Even in the middle of a depressing prison, Corrie and Betsie knew that God doesn’t say, “Give thanks only in happy times” or “Be joyful only when things are going your way” or “Pray when you remember to, you know, maybe every three or four days.” Instead he says, “Be joyful—always. Pray—always. Give thanks—always.”

Chomp on this!

What in your life seems like fleas? What bothers you or makes you sad? What have you been complaining about?

How do you think God can use that for your good?

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