Are you facing anything trying or painful? Are you worried or angry or hurt?

Corrie ten Boom, a Christian woman imprisoned in a German concentration camp for helping Jewish people says, “Well, strange as it may seem, perhaps this is precisely the right time to give thanks.”

Carrie ten Boom and her sister Betsie spent months in the camps, which were horrific, flea-ridden, death-dealing places. Both women were afraid, but Betsie came to Corrie one day with an idea that might help them. She quoted a passage from 1 Thessalonians: “. . .give thanks in all circumstances.”

Corrie quickly replied that she could not give thanks for the fleas.

Betsy reminded her that she could give thanks that the two of them were together, as most families had been split apart.

Corrie said she could give thanks for that, but not the fleas.

Then Betsie noted that somehow the guards had not checked her luggage, and therefore her bible had not been confiscated.

Corrie agreed she could be thankful for that, but not for the fleas. She could not, she said, under any circumstance, give thanks for the pestilential fleas.

But eventually Corrie learned that the only reason she and her sister had not been assaulted by the guards was because their captors were so repulsed by the fleas that they would not enter the girls’ barracks.

Years later, Corrie ten Boom reflected that this is how she was taught to give thanks for all things—because you just never know.

Right now, can you name five things for which you are thankful?

Corrie ten Boom

Note: The Apostle Paul wrote his admonition to give thanks at all times while he was himself imprisoned by Roman authorities.

Updated 2023

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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