Betsie then remembered a Bible passage they had been reading earlier in the day. "Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus...." "That's it, Corrie! That's His answer! Give thanks in all circumstances! That's what we can do. We can start right now to thank God for every single thing about this new barracks!"
So, they began to thank God for many things that were true blessings... that they had a Bible, that they were together, and so on. Eventually, they also thanked God for the fleas, because Betsie insisted that there must be a good reason that God was allowing the fleas. But Corrie responded with, "There is no way even God can make me grateful for a flea."
"Give thanks in all circumstances," Betsie reminded her. "It doesn't say in pleasant circumstances."
Corrie and Betsie began using their smuggled Bible to lead Bible reading in a large room within their barracks. They were perplexed as to why there was rigid surveillance everywhere else in the prison camp, but they had very little supervision in the barracks. This gave them the freedom to openly lead large groups of women in Bible readings night after night.
Eventually, there was an incident when a guard should've entered their barracks but refused to do so because of the fleas. Betsie and Corrie suddenly realized why they'd had so much freedom to lead big Bible studies in that big room... it was the fleas. The fleas were the reason they were able to openly share God's Word night after night!
I thought of this story as I studied Psalm 124 in last week's Stepping Up homework. Beth Moore wrote these insightful words: "... in our humanity we tend to determine whether God is against us, for us, or tolerating us based on how He appears to act in our circumstances. In other words, our litmus test for whether we think God is really for us is circumstantial evidence." The problem with that is..... you and me.... we don't have a clue as to what is best for us. We cannot imagine how God might use the most despairing of circumstances for our good. We lack the imagination, the insight, the depth, to even come close to figuring it all out. If I may quote Beth again... "God will risk being misunderstood". He knows the glory of the future will be worth the difficulties of the present. He wants us to have crowns to throw at His feet!!
I believe, this is yet another layer to the trust lessons God is teaching me... To be thankful in all things. It is easy to feel thankful when you have circumstantial evidence that God is working in your favor. It is easy to trust when good things are happening. But, sometimes you don't have that kind of evidence... and sometimes you just have to trust that in spite of everything, God is at work!
Show me how to believe you in this.
Show me how to be thankful in this."