Reflection 19th April

On Thursday at 8pm together with millions of people across the UK I clapped to show my gratitude to our NHS and care-workers for the incredible work they are doing during this crisis.

 It struck me that I’m not always very good at giving thanks and over the past weeks I have been making a real effort to find things to be thankful for; sunshine; early bluebells; supermarket staff; a friendly smile … Yes, amidst the anxiety and heartbreak of these times, we can find things to be thankful for.

I have just re-read an inspirational book - ‘The Hiding Place’ by Corrie ten Boom - if you have ever wondered where God was in the concentration camps then you should read it! Corrie writes of how she and her sister Betsie entered Ravensbruck to find the straw on the sleeping decks alive with fleas. Betsie prayed to God to show them how they could cope and the answer came in the form of a verse from Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians: ‘Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’ (15:18). So they thanked God for their smuggled Bible, the overcrowding and, despite Corrie’s reservations, the fleas.

Corrie and Betsie freely led Bible studies and services for an ever-growing crowd of fellow prisoners, wondering why the guards never entered the dormitory to stop them when they were so active patrolling elsewhere. Months later Betsie found out the reason – it was because of the fleas! As Corrie writes; ‘My mind rushed back to the first hour in this place. I remembered Betsie’s bowed head, remembering her thanks to God for creatures I could see no use for.’

So I encourage you even in the difficult circumstances you might be facing this week find something to thank God for!

God bless