“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:61 Thessalonians 5:16-24
Most people today would not readily link thanksgiving and suffering together. But Paul did. And so did Corrie ten Boom in her book The Hiding Place where she describes deep thanks even in the face of awful circumstances.
For hiding Jews in their home, sisters Corrie and Betsie were sent to the Nazi concentration camp, Ravensbruck. Often they were overcome by the conditions in the camp which included fleas in their beds. Betsie reminded Corrie that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to give thanks in “all circumstances,” not just in pleasant ones. She suggested that “fleas are part of this place where God has put us.” So after thanking God for the fleas, the sisters discovered that they were free to have normally-forbidden Bible studies in their barracks only because the guards would not step through the door and come near those fleas!
There is a bigger picture to our suffering. We may not see it all, but we can thank God for His faithfulness and love, manifested in fleas or any other of life’s challenges and tragedies.
Above all, remember God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and loving (John 15:13) through difficult times.