Monday, June 26, 2017

Be Grateful for the Fleas in Your Life ~

So today I needed to write a piece on gratitude for an English class I'm taking. I thought that others out there might enjoy it so I'll just leave it here on my blog: 

Gratitude is an interesting topic. There’s a bazillion sayings about gratitude (well, a bazillion may be a bit of hyperbole), but we are familiar with so many thoughts about having a grateful heart, an attitude of gratitude, etc., and certainly, when we recognize that every single thing we have or enjoy comes from the Lord, we realize that we are all truly beggars and that the Lord is merciful to us.

It’s easy to take the blessings of daily life for granted, even though we may remember to thank Heavenly Father for them when we pray. But just think of the many simple things we enjoy, like clean water, public sanitation facilities, food, our homes, our families and so many other things.
One of my favorite thoughts about gratitude comes from the book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie ten Boom. If you are familiar with this book, good for you (although it is a difficult read because it’s hard to imagine anyone could treat someone else they way they did during WWII). If not, it is a must read as far as I’m concerned. It’s the true story of the ten Boom family and how they built a secret room and hid Jews there during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands. Eventually, they were discovered and taken to a Nazi concentration prison camp even though they were Christian. At one point Corrie and her sister, Betsie, are imprisoned in barracks that were infested with fleas. Corrie couldn’t endure the constant biting of the fleas and complained to her sister and Betsie prayed for the Lord to show them how the fleas could be a blessing.
It took a while but, over time they noticed that they were not bothered by the guards seeking sexual favors or even coming to cause them grief. They were able to pull out their tiny little Bible they had smuggled in with them and read the scriptures aloud to the other women. They realized that the guards stayed away from them because of the fleas and soon they were able to thank God for the fleas.  
Bestie quoted from 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 ~
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Because that place was infested with fleas, the word of God went forth in a dark place, and hearts were comforted and strengthened, helping them to persevere despite such inhumane and horrible circumstances.
I’ve lived a long time and I hope I have a lot longer to go, but I came to realize long ago, the Lord is in charge, He knows best, and He always has a reason for everything, even when we do not understand. So, be grateful for the “fleas” in your life. The thing that troubles you the most may be the best thing for you in the end.

So, I would simply close with it’s really not possible to be grateful enough in this lifetime. If I were to serve the Lord every moment of the day, I would still be an unprofitable servant. I would still come up short, which brings me to the thing I am the most grateful for and that is the Lord’s atonement for each of us and our failings, short-comings and sins. He has seen to it, that if we are trying and sometimes we mess up on the same thing numerous times, but if we never give up and keep trying, with a grateful heart, He will be there to pick up the pieces, to plead our case before the Father and for that, I will be eternally grateful.