You’ve probably heard the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemon aid”, or at least something like that. Sometimes we start feeling like the lemons are really piling up and you’re getting pretty sick of the lemon aid and we can start going down that slippery slope of falling into despair which is ultimately where the father of lies wants us. We know that we are supposed to put unconditional trust in our God, who knows what we need and can obviously see the bigger picture of which our small human minds can’t quite comprehend, but let’s face it, that is not always an easy thing to do.
So as is life, I’ve had these things that bother me, and even though I am placing my trust in God, I find myself asking Him how much longer will I have to endure this trial. I start feeling sorry for myself, I start bickering about the cross that I am bearing and that’s where my wise and awesome wife comes in as a blessing from God and helps me put things in perspective.
One night, while bickering, she said to me, “Thank God for the fleas.” I had never heard this before so I kind of gave her a not pleasant look and said, “What is that supposed to mean?” Again, as a blessing from God she explained it to me and turned me to the story of Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch woman, who during World War
II helped hide Jewish friends in a secret room, she was eventually discovered by the Nazis and sent to a Concentration Camp. She lived out the remainder of the war in a Barracks that was infested with fleas. Every evening during their prayers (which were against Nazi rules and punishable by death), despite the annoyance of constant biting, itching, and being held in a Concentration Camp, Corrie and her sister would thank God for the fleas. Their strong faith in God helped them realize that there was a reason for everything, even if they didn’t understand it at the time. So they thanked God anyway.
Corrie survived the Concentration Camp and years later she met one of her former guards who told her that none of the guards wanted to go anywhere near the barracks where they were held because of the terrible infestation of fleas. Suddenly it was clear to Corrie that God had protected her from being discovered while she was praying. Had it not been for the fleas, she may not have survived.
And so, having this story to help me put things in perspective, I realize that my burdens are really just minor annoyances and regardless of how bad I think things are, I need to thank God for the blessings and the fleas in my life.
St. Paul tells us, in his first letter to the Thessalonians 5:16-18;
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
It is easy to thank God for the blessings in our lives, but how good are we at thanking God for the fleas in our lives?
Thank you, God for these fleas in my life! Jesus, I trust in You!