Monday, November 19, 2012

The Blessing of Lice

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  Psalm 34:1

You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.  Psalm 18:28

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil. May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only three hairs on her head. "Great," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today."
So she did, and had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "Hmm," she said, "I guess I'll part my hair down the middle."
So she did, and had a wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only one hair left on her head.
"Wow," she said, "today I get to wear my hair in a pony tail." So she did, and had a wonderful, wonderful day.
The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that there wasn't a single hair on her head.
"Thank God!" she exclaimed. "I was running out of things to do with my hair!"

A friend sent this story to me last week via email. I read it, I smiled, and then I quickly deleted it as I went on with my day. However, I went back to find it after watching an old movie on TV today because it so perfectly fits the lighter side of the lesson reiterated in the movie, “The Hiding Place.”

The movie, if you’ve never seen it, is based on the book of the same name by Corrie ten Boom, a Christian survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. The story itself is incredible as God’s stories often are. She and her family provided safe haven to many Jewish refugees during Nazi Germany’s occupation of Holland. Her family was eventually arrested by the Gestapo and she and her sister spent 10 months in three different prisons, the last being the Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. During their time there, many women became Christians because of their witness to God’s love and faithfulness even in that horrible place. After Corrie was released from the camp, she knew she needed to share what she had learned there with the world – that "There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still" and "God will give us the love to be able to forgive our enemies." Corrie began a world-wide ministry which took her into more than 60 countries in the next 33 years! She testified to God’s love and encouraged all she met with the message that "Jesus is Victor."

She was such an unlikely person – the spinster daughter of a local watchmaker. And if the Nazis had never made it to Holland, she may never have learned the depth of faith the Lord developed in her during that harsh time. What struck me the most was how her sister could find a reason to thank God for every circumstance which they encountered. It is reported that she was truly grateful to the Lord always, even for the lice that infested their barracks in the concentration camp as it gave them a place the guards would not search to hide their contraband Bible.

With Thanksgiving so close, it got me to wondering – how thankful am I? Last week, I talked a little about how grateful I am to know and be loved by “The Lord Who Provides.” I know I am truly blessed. But in times of trial, am I thankful? As I look back on my life and all I’ve experienced, I can say that I am thankful for those too. I’m grateful to God for the work he has done in me as he brought me through some very tough times. Boy, would I love to end this paragraph here, letting you think I possess the depth of faith of Miss ten Boom. But I can’t because the next logical question would be – am I truly grateful in the midst of the confusion and chaos that is my life right now and I have to say I haven’t been very appreciative. No, I’ve been grumbling and wondering when I’m going to get back my nice, quiet, leisurely life. I blame my busyness for my lack of dedication and discipline as if that excuses it. I’m too busy being self-centered and shallow to be grateful. Instead of complaining about the inconveniences, I could look for the blessing from God in that moment and praise him for his generosity. In my hectic schedule, I could be uncovering countless unrealized blessings if I spent less time thinking about me and more time trying to see how God is loving me, providing for me, and working in and through me in the moment.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Corrie ten Boom Quotes:
Ø  “You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.”
Ø  “This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.”
Ø  “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”
 About the pictures:
Deer Lake Park, PA (October 2009)

1 comment:

Audrey said...

Thanks for giving me something to really think about during this week of Thanksgiving!