Soon after God redeemed the situation, I went to finish a book, The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom. The story is breathtaking. After they had been caught in a huge underground protection system for the Jews during WWII, Corrie and her sister Betsie are in Germany in a concentration camp, . In the scene below they arrive at new facility:
"Fleas!" I cried. "Betsie, the place is swarming with them!" We scrambled across the intervening platforms, heads low to avoid another bump, dropped down the aisle, and edged our way to a patch of light. "Here! And her another one!" I wailed. "Betsie, how can we line in such a place?" "Show us. Show us how." It was said so matter of factually it took me a second to realize she was praying. More and more the distinction between prayer and the rest of life seemed to be vanishing for Betsie. "Corrie she said excitedly. "He's given us the answer! Before we asked, as He always does! In the Bible this morning. Where was it? Read that part again!" I glanced down the long dim aisle to make sure no guard was in sight then drew the Bible from its pouch. "It was First Thessalonians," I said. We were on our third complete reading of the New Testament since leaving Scheveningen. In the feeble light I turned the pages. "Here it is: 'Comfort the frightened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all...'"It seemed written expressly to Ravensbruck. "Go on," said Betsie. "That wasn't all." "Oh yes: '...to one another and to all, Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus-'"I can picture Betsie looking at her sister as I would mine and say "Such as?" Like what in the world do we have that we can rejoice for. We are starving, our skin is peeling from lice and now we are going to sleep in flea infested ground. And Betsie just goes on without hesitation, "Being assigned here together, we have a Bible that we had to smuggle in here, the women in this room who meet Jesus because of the pages of this Bible, Thank you for the crowding here, because we are so close that means that many more will hear Your gospel, Thank you for the fleas." Corrie stops her right there "THE FLEAS?!" She says, "Betsie, there's no way even God can make me grateful for a flea." Betsie replies "'Give thanks in all circumstances,' It doesn't say 'in pleasant circumstances.' Fleas are part of this place where God has put us."
In that moment God said, "Summer, my beloved, can you thank Me, for this season? Though you may never know the depths of what I am working on for your good? Can you trust Me that even in this flea infested circumstance that what the enemy has meant for harm I am working my perfect plan for your life and for your family? This is My will for your life. My promises are true, I will protect you, I am your strong tower there is no safer place than My will, none safer my beloved."
With tears streaming down my face, just as they are now I thanked Him. I thanked Him for Kelsie and I thanked Him for taking Kelsie home. My heart broke saying these words, but I meant them and writing this today these words are from my heart.
The Lord said to me this morning in our quiet time and through a transparent testimony of a husband and a wife, saying the words is not enough, you have to stop living your life as a victim of your circumstances. Stop playing the victim. How, I asked. His answer:
"I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me" "Come, let us return to the Lord for He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us...He will raise us up...That we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. his going forth is as certain as the dawn and He will come like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth." Hosea 5:15-6:3"Through your Savior, my beloved, remember Him, remember the cross, remember My love for you, you are not a victim, you are My child living in My will. Freedom, where the spirit of the Lord is there is freedom."
May I press on to know You. Jesus, Your son, is the only One who can turn loss into glory. Forgive me, Father. Have mercy on me. I praise you in the storm and Thank you for the storm of my life that has brought me so much closer to You. I thank you for the path of redemption that You have freely given those that love you. You are the only light on that narrow pathway. Gently open my heart to the loneliness and pain only so that I will rely on You for comfort and not the world. Continue to make my sin bitter and the joy of Your salvation sweeter. I love you, I need you.
In Jesus' sweet name I pray,