Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Counting Gifts. Or Fleas, as the Case May Be.

It's funny how easy it is to count "gifts" on Christmas morning.  There's the new watercolors, dangling earrings, and a little ornament for the tree.  One, two, three.  But ask me now, in the middle of March, when there's a blizzard flying outside and cold uncertainty piling up in my heart.  Where are these gifts?  Because a new, shiny wristwatch, wrapped up in a miniature box with a bow is an easy gift to find.  It's right there, clasping my wrist.  But, quickly those material gifts run out when you're counting 1000 gifts.  I'm not a millionaire, with stuff piled around.  And I think there's more to a "gift" than the tangible, physical matter that lays before my eyes.

And so, when I'm daring to find Joy today, and every day this year, I've begun to look for things that are a little less obvious.  It reminds me of the story of Corrie and Betsy Ten Boom.  When the two women were taken to a concentration camp, infested with fleas and reeking of urine, Betsy thanked God for those fleas.  She smiled and breathed out a prayer of thankfulness for the dirty bugs clinging to the very sheets she had laid her head upon.

They didn't know it then, but later they found out that no guard would come into their building because of the horrible fleas.  And so their Bible study flourished undetected at that camp, and God was glorified.  Because of fleas.  But God was glorified long before those hours of studying Scripture.  He was glorified before Betsy and Corrie had shared the Gospel with a single soul in that concentration camp.  When Betsy thanked Him from the depths of her heart, thanked Him for the very thing that she detested most, He was glorified.

There are gifts everywhere.  In everything we touch, in everything we see and hear.  God has a purpose and a gift in every circumstance, even when it seems impossible to be true.  Even when our lives are filled with fleas.  God has a purpose, even for that.

Thank you, Father.


  1. Amen, Rachel. I love that story of Bestie and Corrie. In fact, I love them in general :) it can be hard to consider the hard things "gifts" but God has told us to "consider it pure joy" when we fall into various trials. PURE JOY. Praise God that He helps us do that!!!

    1. Thanks, their story is so inspiring to me! My homeschool group did a play based on the book "A Hiding Place" several years ago, and it just opened up all our eyes to the reality of all they endured, and their constant faith in God.

  2. I love that story!! The faith of the ten Booms' is so challenging.