1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I am so grateful for the powerful example of Corrie Ten Boom’s sister Betsy and her amazing faith as revealed in Corrie’s book, The Hiding Place. For their efforts to save Jews, they were sent to concentration camps during World War II eventually winding up at Ravensbruck where 96,000 women died. I remembere how Corrie was so frequently amazed at her sister’s remarkable faith.
In the book, I found the scene that had been stirring so within me. It is when they move into the horrific dormitory in Ravensbruck. This wretched dorm that was made for 400 had 1,400 crammed in with more being added weekly. Eight acrid and overflowing toilets served the entire room.
Betsy perpetually saw things so very differently than Corrie or anyone else. Her heart was moved with compassion instead of hate. She wanted to bless instead of curse. She saw positives in situations where no one else could even imagine them. Today’s verses were the ones that particularly moved her on this occasion.
Their circumstances included fleas, nauseating smells, incredible overcrowding and the brutality of the guards for whom Betsy continually prayed. This combined with being prisoners in such a place of death! But Betsy continually gave thanks to God for everything about their circumstances – even the fleas!
Apparently the fleas, lice and stench kept the guards away. They had a Bible and so many women were crowded around them, it meant that so many more would get to hear about Jesus. No matter what happened, Betsy was consumed with a passionate love of her Lord.
What an example Betsy was for Corrie and for us! We face nothing compared to what they faced. But Betsy was so aware of God’s love and focused on sharing it with everyone – prisoners and guards. She was grateful for so many things. She didn’t get caught up in the negative. She saw evidence of God’s presence, kindness and grace everywhere.
May our eyes be opened to see the wonder of our Lord in all the problems we have. May our lives be dominated by Him – rather than by the problems or difficulties we face. Betsy is such an example for us all of how rich and powerful our faith in Jesus can become.