Psalm 119:9

Psalm 119:9 - How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thankful for Fleas?

Link to picture:

Last week I mentioned an Otto Koning message in which he spoke about
doing certain things that God requires of us through sheer faith, going against
all human reason, etc. What I didn't mention was that he was talking about
praising God in, you guessed it, all things!

  One story that he told was about the time that he was walking to a village in
Papua New Guinea. He was on a log path in the middle of the swamp when
he stumbled upon a hornet nest, got stung all over his neck, shoulders and
arms, and became separated from his native guides (while he was running
away). He was all swollen, he didn't know which way to go, and he prays to
God, "What do I do?!" Then God speaks to him, and he says, "Rejoice!"
Now, don't you just love that? Here he is, he's lost, about to die, and God says
rejoice! He then realized that he must obey whether he wants to or not, and so
he does! He thanks God for the hornets and the whole ding-dang thing.
Later, the natives came out of the jungle ahead of him, and he was able to give
himself a shot for snake bites, but he's still hurting! They start off to a nearby
village, and he gets one of his trained "preacher boys" to preach for him.
So, he's lying down over in the corner, the guy's trying to teach these people,
and all they're doing is staring at Otto, waiting for him to die!
  When the message is over, the people start saying, "Man, he's really hurting!
This message must be really important, because he got hurt bringing it to us!"
All of a sudden, it clicked. Otto sat up on his grass mat and said, "There is
One who hurt far more than me to bring this message!" He shared the gospel
with them, and they were then able to understand truly how much Jesus
suffered for them, because now they knew, He would have gone by the
hornets nest! That started the seed of the gospel in that village.

Another story I remember comes from "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten
Boom: Her and her sister, Betsie, were sent to Ravensbruck, a Nazi
concentration camp where the floor and the cots were swarming with
fleas! They wondered how they could live in such a place, but God gave
them the answer: give thanks! They started to find things to be thankful
for, such as being together, having a little Bible, and even the fleas!
Corrie wondered how they could be thankful for fleas, but Betsie reminded
her that the Bible says to give thanks in all things. So there they prayed, 
giving thanks for the fleas.
  During their imprisonment, they were able to lead many meetings of worship
and reading of God's word, eventually two times a day. The strange thing was,
though they were under guard surveillance all the time in the other buildings,
there in the main dormitory no guards ever came in, thus they were able to
worship so freely. They never understood this until one day, the barracks
supervisor was sent to settle a disputation in the knitting class about sock
sizes. But when she got there, she would not come in because of the fleas!
That reminds me...

         "God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things
          that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human
          being might boast in the presence of God."
           - 1 Corinthians 1:28-29

There have been many times when I had to thank God for things that I just
plain hated! By His grace I was able to trust Him when He said,

         "And we know that for those who love God all things work together
          for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."
           - Romans 8:28

We need to remember that God's the only one that sees the "big picture"!
I remember an analogy of Him sewing a picture on a big piece of cloth above
us, and all we can see is the underside of it, so we're complaining about how
ugly it looks, and yelling "Hey God, what are you doing?! That needle came
too close!!" All the while, He sees the top, where that ragged strip of cloth
is turning into a wonderful masterpiece, destined to hang in the hall of the
King himself! (I, of course, speak allegorically of our death in sin, resurrection
in Christ, and continual sanctification throughout our life, until the last day.)
  Anyway, the point of all this rambling is to emphasize: when circumstances
overwhelm you, remember that "All things work together for good, for those
who are called according to His purpose." Give praise to God in all things, and
he will do mighty things!

         "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for
          you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness."
           - James 1:2-3


  1. That's so cool. I remember a similar storry where someone was in prison and had been beaten and there were maggots getting in his wounds. He praised God for them even though he didn't know why. It turned out that they ate the bacteria in his wounds and kept them from getting infected.

    At least I think that's how it goes, but you get the point.


  2. God truly is good beyond all we can measure!
    Everyday I'm reminded how much I still lack. B)


  3. Hello!
    I assist Paul Wheaton, author of the flea control article at He asked if I would request you make a link to the article beneath your "Fleas!" picture up top.
    Thank you, and sorry for any inconvenience,
    Suzy Bean

  4. I will certainly do that!
    Thanks very much for the heads up, and I am
    sorry for failing to do so before.

    Nathan Williams