How often do we, in our human nature, look at a situation happening in life and only see the negativity?
Corrie Ten Boom was an extraordinary woman of God and author of The Hiding Place. The book describes her life and experiences hiding and helping Jews escape the Nazi regime. During the last year of World War II, Corrie and her sister were imprisoned and treated horrifically, as millions who experienced the hatred of the Nazis were.
While the women were in the prison camp there was a terrible plague of fleas. Because the barrack was so infested with these fleas the guards would never enter the barrack they shared with many other woman. Miss Ten Boom took the opportunity of a guard-less atmosphere to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and began having nightly Bible studies and powerful prayer meetings with women in the camp. She looked at every situation as an opportunity to be the Light where there seemed to be only darkness.
When her sister would complain about the flea bites, Corrie would remind her that without the fleas they would not have the liberty to speak to others about Christ. Because the guards would not enter their barrack, they had the freedom to speak and to share the Gospel without fear.
Truly there was a blessing in the fleas, but recognizing that blessing was a miracle in itself. Satan had intended the imprisonment of Corrie Ten Boom to snuff out her faith and quiet her witness, but her prayerful countenance and willingness to be led by God did not allow that to happen.
As I read the story of Corrie Ten Boom’s passion for Christ and her willingness to be used by God even in the midst of a flea infested prison camp, I couldn’t help but cry out to God and ask for forgiveness for the times I have been selfish and self-centered.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
I want to be so filled with God’s Spirit and love that it pours out of me even in the worst of situations! I want to constantly reflect His Light to those around me, even in less than ideal situations. If we prayerfully focus our thoughts on the good things mentioned in the verse above, there will be no room for negativity or self-centeredness — only room for God to work and to show us the blessing in the fleas.