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Do You Thank God for the “Fleas?”

Overview: Do you thank God for everything in your life – even the hard stuff you wish wasn’t happening? I’m trying to do just that. Here’s why…

My boys and I recently finished reading a book which has had a huge impact on my daily thoughts.  This book is “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom. If you haven’t read this book already, I highly recommend you do so. One of the ideas which hit me the hardest was Corrie’s sister, Betsie, insisting that they thank God for everything that happens to them – whether good or bad.

Do You Thank God for the Fleas?

Corrie and Betsie spent time in various jails and concentration camps due to their work with the Jewish Underground. They experienced many hard and painful things during this time. At one point, Corrie and Betsie are moved to a camp where the conditions are even more miserable than where they were previously. They have to share a bed with several other women – and their beds are covered with fleas.

Corrie was very upset by the fleas and doesn’t understand why God couldn’t at least get rid of that one hardship that they are having to endure. Betsie doesn’t understand, either, but she says that they need to thank God for everything – including the fleas. I don’t want to ruin the story for you if you haven’t read it – but I will say that God is gracious enough to reveal to Corrie why He has allowed their beds to be covered with fleas. And it is indeed a blessing!


Having an Attitude of Gratitude

God won’t always reveal to us why He allows difficult things to happen to us. But we need to have the faith that there’s always a good reason for whatever He allows to happen.

I’ve been working on having an “attitude of gratitude.” I want to be a thankful person who recognizes the good in my life rather than always focusing on the bad. I want to raise my boys in such a way that they will also have thankful hearts. That isn’t always an easy thing to do.

The best way for my boys to learn to have grateful hearts is if my husband and I model that attitude for them!

I’m sure you know that the best lessons aren’t taught, but caught. This is especially true with matters of the heart. Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

→ Related Content: When Homeschooling Falls Short of Expectations (And 5 Ways to Turn Things Around!)

Ouch! What does this say about my heart if I have a tendency to dwell on the bad things which are happening around me versus thinking about the good? What does God want me to be thinking about? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

I’ve been working on having a grateful heart for a while. I know that God has blessed me beyond measure with my husband, my sons, our families, our home, and so many other things. A song which really resonates with me is called, “Good” by David Barnes. I love these lyrics:


As the sun slowly rises above the river
I look out over all that God has made
Listen as the day starts to awaken
I thank God for things that never change

I can hear her laughing in the kitchen
And the sounds of little footsteps on the stairs
I’ve got all I’ll ever need: a wife, a home, a family
And I thank God for all those answered prayers

And it’s good
I got more than I ever thought I would
I can finally see how all the wrong turns and the heartaches
The lessons in the mistakes
Help me count these blessings like I should
And it’s so good

Every day’s a gift that I’ve been given
Every breath feels like a second chance
And everything I’ve done heaven has seen
And God just keeps on forgiving me, and I
Do my best to change what I can

And it’s so good
I got more than I ever thought I would
I can finally see how all the wrong turns and the heartaches
The lessons in the mistakes
Help me count these blessings like I should

And it’s good to know that I have been forgiven
Good to have her laying by my side
I’ve been given more than I deserve
For a past so full of bridges burned
I couldn’t make this better if I tried

And it’s so good
I got more than I ever thought I would
I can finally see how all the wrong turns and the heartaches
The lessons in the mistakes
Help me count these blessings like I should
And it’s so good

I truly do have more than I ever thought I would. No matter how hard a day of homeschooling might be, no matter how tight things get financially, no matter what may appear to be going wrong. God has blessed me more than I deserve – more than I ever thought He would.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” It doesn’t say, ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ If fleas are part of the place where God has put us then we need to thank God for those fleas. Being thankful for EVERYTHING is how Corrie Ten Boom made it through life in a concentration camp. Being thankful for EVERYTHING is how you and I will be able to live full lives in whatever circumstances God has placed us.

The next time you find yourself thinking about something that’s going wrong in your life – try to turn it around and think about everything that’s going right. Even better, try thanking God for that hard circumstance (or person) in your life.

You might be amazed at all of the good that God can and will do with the difficulties in our lives. And He is always ready and willing to change our hearts.

Question:  Do you thank God for the “fleas” in your life?  Do you struggle with being thankful or does that come naturally to you?  Please leave a comment below.

Do You Thank God for the Fleas?

6 thoughts on “Do You Thank God for the “Fleas?””

  1. I don’t think a more timely post could have appeared on my FB stream. What a fall it’s been! Thank you for reminding me to choose gratitude over discouragement and frustration, steadfastness in the wake of turmoil, and faith over doubt. A perfect way to start my Tuesday. 🙂

    1. Sorry you’re in a rough season of life, Brandi. But thankful that God allowed you to see the post and that it touched your heart!

  2. Amazing how God keeps me focused on one thing at a time. My 8 year old son watches the Torchlighters DVD Series over and over again. Corrie Ten Boom is one of his favorites. One morning a few months ago thankfulness for the fleas hit me across the head. Thankfulness for the darkness and struggles in my life has been difficult but I am learning to “count it all joy”. Just a few nights ago I framed a calligraphy writing I did of 1 Thess 5:7-8 and hung it right next to my bed. It is the first Word from the Lord I see every morning. I am beginning to be thankful for the fleas.

    1. Don’t you love how God does that, Dorothy?!? I love your idea of hanging that scripture right by your bed. I keep a spiral-bound set of index cards with Scripture posted above my kitchen sink so that I’ll see it often throughout the day. I’m going to go write down 1 Thess 5:16-18 on it right now! 🙂

        1. Ha! I actually put the wrong verses at first, too… Yes, let’s blame it on the morning fog and not Mommy brain. 🙂

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