My favorite thanksgiving story. Also the reason Kayla’s middle name is Elizabeth…..
I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight, then drew the Bible from its pouch. “It was First Thessalonians,” I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen. In the feeble light I turned the pages. “Here it is: ‘Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repay evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all….’ ” It seemed expressly written for Ravensbruck.
“Go on,” said Betsie. (Elizabeth) “That wasn’t all.”
“Oh yes: ‘… to one another and to all. 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 these new barracks!”
I stared at her, then around me at the dark, foul-aired room.
“Such as?” I asked.
“Such as being assigned here together.”
I bit my lip. “Oh yes, Lord Jesus!”
“Such as what you’re holding in your hands.”
I looked down at the Bible. “Yes! Thank you, dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank you for all the women, here in this room, who will meet you in these pages.”
“Yes,” said Betsie. “Thank you for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that many more will hear!” She looked at me expectantly. “Corrie!” she prodded.
“Oh, all right. Thank you for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.”
“Thank you,” Betsie went on serenely, “for the fleas and for…”
The fleas! This was too much. “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”
” ‘Give thanks in all circumstances,’ ” she quoted. “It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.”
And so we stood between piers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas.
From The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
(Corrie’s family was sent to a Nazi prison camp for hiding Jews in their home during WWII. Corrie was the only survivor. It was her sister Betsie’s faith that strengthened Corrie during that horror.)