There is a line in “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom that is never too far from my mind. While imprisoned in a concentration camp, Corrie’s sister insisted that they had to thank God for the fleas. Corrie had a hard time with that but did it a bit begrudgingly to satisfy her beloved sister. When you think of their situation, that took a lot of faith to carry on and even thank God for the fleas. Eventually, they discovered that the Germans did not want to enter their particular barrack because of those fleas and that is what gave them the little bit of liberty that they had to teach others the Word of God. With hindsight, Corrie was so grateful for those fleas and for the opportunity to help others at a time when they were in such dire circumstances.
God sometimes allows ‘fleas’ in different areas of our lives. To us they look like dirty little inconveniences, problems, difficulties and heartaches. However, our thoughts are not God’s thoughts. He sees things from His eternal viewpoint. It’s in the valley of decision and difficulty that the purest metals are forged. Our darkest days have the potential to bring the greatest growth. No one would voluntarily choose heartache, but we are all capable, by faith, of thanking God for the fleas in our lives and then of waiting patiently for the time when (and if) He chooses to reveal the reason for them.
It’s easy to thank God for our abundance and our all too apparent blessings, but have we thanked God for the fleas lately? Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and if there are fleas in your life, remember that God loves you with an everlasting love and is always doing everything He can to bring you closer to Him.
People love what they talk about. We all know this to be true. When a person talks about themselves all the time, it makes us feel uncomfortable because they seem to be full of themselves. When someone talks incessantly about sports, we understand that that person really loves sports. They wouldn’t do that if they didn’t love it. Someone who loves cooking will undoubtedly talk about it all the time. If we take that further, we can examine ourselves and know what it is that we love.
I have to begin with myself. If I talk about myself all the time, I love myself and am not considerate of others. Do I speak all the time about my work? Do I only talk about my children? What is it that occupies my mind all day? What I take the time to talk about is inevitably what is on my mind during the day. Is my mind on God? Does God and godly things come out of my mouth easily? Or am I talking constantly about my trips to the mall and about the latest things that I would like to purchase?
I have known quite a few different kinds of religious people. Some spoke of God religiously, showing that they really loved religion and appearing to be religious more than God. However, I also knew a person who spoke genuinely of God and godly issues with a very soft and humble spirit of love. I was and am sure that person truly loved God. It made me think about what is on my mind. What does my mind stray to when I’m driving to work or taking a walk? When I have problems, do I consider how God feels about them and frame my conversations with that in mind?
Life in God is always interesting. There’s always a new revelation around the corner. There’s always something more to be learned about life here on earth and how God leads us through our daily trials. When my mind is on God, it comes out of my mouth.
It is one of my life’s goals to trust God with all of my heart in spite of the troubles that beset us in these sometimes difficult days. With Hurricane Irene bearing down on us and the weatherman doling out constant warnings of trouble, my mind has been preoccupied with worries and making preparations for the upcoming storm. It’s important to be ready for any eventualities but recently I bought a little plaque that says, “No worries” just to remind myself that God is indeed the one to trust.
Yesterday, I watched the weather report several times and it was starting to affect me a lot. I came out of work and got into my car. I turned on the radio for a bit of relaxing music for the drive home. It was James Taylor. “If the sky above you grows dark and full of clouds, and that ol’ north wind begins to blow, keep your head together and call my name out loud; soon you’ll hear me knockin’ at your door. You just call out my name and you know wherever I am I’ll come runnin’ to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall all you have to do is call and I’ll be there. You’ve got a friend.”
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Ps 46:1) Thank you, God. Thank you for your constant presence and your Comforter.
In these present times, it’s so easy to get caught up in worry. A lot of people that I know are worried about the future, worried about their money and their retirement. They worry about getting loans, worry about whether their money is safe. I was thinking about that. Sometimes I find myself worrying also but the Lord showed me that it’s a trap. There is no time but the present. The past is finished. Can you change it? No. All you can do is ask God to forgive you for mistakes and pray that He will make up the difference and fix up anything that you can’t personally fix. The future doesn’t yet exist so what can you do about that? I can’t take care of tomorrow’s problems today. I can’t run into that future and change it or make it conform to anything that I want. All I can do is live in the moment. Right now I can do a lot. I connect with God right now. I can pray for others, ask Him how to handle the situations that I have right now and I can ask Him to continue guiding me so that when the future comes, I’ll be ready for it.
If I’m living in the present in connection with God then I’m truly alive because it’s His life in me that’s acting and speaking. If I’m living in the past or worrying about the future, then I’m not really alive. I’m just a semblance of aliveness. When I’m living in the present, I can get all kinds of thoughts and inspirations for my life and for helping others. Life is more exciting that way. It’s a real adventure!