For a better part of the day I had been looking forward to this. I stepped into the tub and discovered that the water was the perfect temperature. I eased the rest of my body into the tub, protecting my spine with my inflatable pink sea shell shaped (say that 5 times fast) bath pillow and closed my eyes.
“Ahhh,” escaped my lips.
My muscles, aching from deep house cleaning and packing, repacking, and heaving boxes for 2 days, began to loosen. The scent of dissolved eucalyptus bath salts and the sounds of Christian radio wafting from our bedroom through the folding door of the master bathroom satisfied my need for relaxation. In moments like these I’m thankful that Bob gifted me with the deep tub instead of the big stand-up shower that he wanted. I’m thankful for it when I’m sore or sick. And I’m thankful for the years I got to spend with Rachel here. I used to kneel on the floor beside the tub while she splashed inside and we played with mermaid dolls until all the bubbles were gone and the water was cold.
When I am soaking in a hot bath or snuggling under my blankets on clean sheets, I think of Corrie ten Boom and her sister, Betsie. They hid many Jews, sparing them from the Nazi Holocaust during WWII. They were caught and arrested and eventually ended up in a concentration camp. Betsie died there. I think of the cold, hunger, filth, hard labor and the abuse that they had to endure. I think of how Corrie longed for tissues when she caught a cold and how Betsie assured her that God would provide–and He did. I think of how Betsie was forgiving and thankful–even for fleas. Yes, fleas. They had an outbreak of them in their barracks which discouraged the guards from entering. This gave them freedom. The guards’ avoidance allowed the ten Booms the liberty to share the Gospel with other women. To think of what they endured and the attitude they had in their suffering sometimes shames me. I have so very, very much and am sometimes given to complaining. Yet they found a way to be grateful in the midst of what many would consider to be nothing short of hell on earth.
It’s been years since I read Corrie’s account of her imprisonment, but it smote me so that I remember certain parts of it. I especially think on these parts when I feel safe, am at ease, are struggling to forgive, or am feeling ungrateful. Her life has given me much to think about and just as much to aspire to. Am I any nearer to saying like the apostle Paul and Betsie ten Boom that I have learned to be content no matter the circumstances? Are you? Even when life is hard could we at least thank God for not giving us what we deserve? For we have all sinned (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Truly, in our own merit we are entitled to nothing and yet through Jesus Christ we are offered everything. Wow. What a thought.
Join me today in praise and thanksgiving. If Betsie could be thankful for fleas–even fleas– then I believe we can all think of something for which to be grateful.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
Remember, thanks in everything, not necessarily for everything, knowing that God is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death.