“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Corrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie had been imprisoned by the Nazis for hiding Jews behind the wall of their Holland home, and Nazi prison camps were pretty well unbearable. Their lives inside the prison camp were an endless stream of misery and seemingly pointless suffering. Corrie recounts: “Every day something else failed to make sense, something else grew too heavy.”
But when they were moved to Barracks 28, they discovered that their stinking, straw- bed platforms swarmed with fleas. How could they live in such a place? It was Betsy who volunteered God’s answer: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” But this was asking too much of Corrie! She could thank God that they were together, she could thank God that they had a Bible, and she could even thank God for the other prisoners who would hear the Word of God. But thanking God for fleas was too much. “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.”
Betsie reminded Corrie that Scripture commands us to give thank in all circumstances, not just pleasant ones. Time would demonstrate that they had a great deal of freedom in those barracks to study the Word of God – specifically because the fleas restrained the supervisors from entering.
There are those who see dark clouds on the horizon for Canada: times of persecution and substantial loss of freedom. It is not my intent to either argue for or against such a forecast, but simply to remind us of God’s answer: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” On Thanksgiving weekend we tend to give thanks for the beauty of the fall colours, and the surplus of food and the vast number of material blessings we enjoy, and it is fitting and proper that we do so. But beyond all these blessings that can so quickly disappear, we have the assurance that because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished on the cross on our behalf, God is now for us, and is able to turn for good even what the enemy means for evil! May God help us to trust Him, and to give thanks in all circumstances! Happy Thanksgiving!