WEEK 6: Rotten Egg
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NLT)
While on a trip abroad, I was so frustrated and upset when I realised my daughter had lice in her hair. I couldn’t get over the fact that while the team had fellowship and were visiting new places and people, I had to spend hours combing my way through strands of hair in a small hotel bathroom, while my poor child had a rash thanks to the unfamiliar chemicals we used. It wasn’t so much the vermin that got to me (although I despise them), but oh man, the timing was just wrong and I would rather face obstacles in the comfort of familiar surroundings! This hadn’t been part of my planning and I was really upset.
Three days later, I was so excited when my very own copy of Corrie ten Boom’s book The Hiding Place was delivered to the hotel. She is probably my biggest hero of faith and this book left an impression on me that I can’t put into words. When I was standing with the book in my hand, opening the door to our room, I suddenly felt so ashamed. I realised that I’m always telling other people about the wonderful lessons God showed Corrie through her suffering and hardships, but when it came to my own, I had failed to see God and follow His instructions.
One of Corrie’s lessons that always stands out for me is when she and her sister, Betsie, were taken to a concentration camp during WWII. She was appalled by their new living conditions – the cramped living quarters, the filthy blankets and mattresses and the fleas were unbearable to her. Betsie, however, told her that she must thank God for everything, even the fleas. But Corrie struggled to thank God for everything and in all circumstances … including the fleas. Months later, they realised that the female Nazi guards never entered Corrie and Betsie’s barracks because they wanted to stay clear of the fleas – the fleas had made it possible for them to have Bible studies without fear, and many ladies had turned to the Lord!
Funny how it took lice to remind me of a precious command we’re given in His Word … be thankful in all circumstances. Our circumstances should not affect and direct us, because God is always in control and He can even use the worst circumstances to further His Kingdom.
“‘Give thanks in all circumstances’ … it doesn’t say ‘in pleasant circumstances’.” – Corrie ten Boom