Today my phone made the acquaintance of concrete. And the screen stopped working. Today I was also able to see the plans of many months carried out by a passel of wonderful people who spread Christmas cheer and ornaments around our church. I was very thankful for the second event, and frustrated at the first. But being thankful can be a bittersweet process, because a little voice in my head reminded me of The Hiding Place. Have you read that story? Corrie Ten Boom tells the story of how God led her family to hide Jews during Nazi control. They were caught and taken to some of the infamous camps where they were given harsh treatment, small rations, crowded rooms, and fleas. Fleas were too much for Corrie. But her sister, Betsie, brought up 1 Thessalonians 5…
“14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the[k]unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic[l]utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every [m]form of evil.”
“We have to give thanks in all, Corrie” Betsie said. And so they did thank God for being together and for the fleas. And they held worship meetings. And learned later that the guards did not know because the fleas kept them out of the room.
God does not always use obvious answers, but He does use every circumstance for our good (Romans 8:28). What is it hardest for me to thank Him for? A half-dead phone? God’s given me some space from relying too much on it, and plenty of other ways to contact people. I’m frustrated, and I was mad at the situation, but who knows how God will use it.
Thank You, God, for a broken phone. Thank You for the story of the Ten Boom ladies who saw an awesome answer to prayer. You work in ways that make us trust You and we would be in awe if we could see the end result of them all. I’m sorry for my quick complaining. Thank You for a lesson in patience, trust, and thankfulness. To You be the glory. Amen.