Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Those fleas

Yesterday, I gave a ten minute talk to the ladies in my Tuesday morning bible study. I have never done much of speaking in front of groups, (unless you count the time I was asked to give my testimony in church, and, well; you can't say no to that!) so I count this as a first. Just because I am not a "natural" speaker; like, say, Beth Moore, doesn't mean I'm not up for that kind of challenge. I like challenges. I mean, God made me-- an impatient, perfectionist, introvert-- a mother to four children!

In the talk, I read the story of Betsie and Corrie and the fleas. (from this post, and "The Hiding Place") I practiced my talk several times to my husband the night before, but on the very last time, I broke down while reading this story! It was like I had read it over, and over, and over, til those words and those circumstances, and God's power, became so real to me. I was very emotional about it all.

It reminded me of when you pick a passage of Scripture, and you say it: again and again and again. Or read it again and again and again. Each time you gain new insights, new perspectives, on each reading of the truth. God's word is just like that.

I just kept thinking about those women praising God for the worst circumstances in their life! Now, I grumble and complain about certain circumstances way too much, and so, I started to think: could I really praise God for those things? Hang on. Do I want to praise God for those things?

Thankfully, I've never had fleas or biting bugs or something horrific like that, but we did have grain moths once. I hated those pesky things. I did try to praise God as I took everything out of my pantry countless times: wiping the cans meticulously, throwing away grains that were not tightly sealed, and such. I did learn that you shouldn't store up your treasures here on earth, where moth and rust destroy.

But, like I said, could I praise Him for the fleas?

...what are *your* "fleas"?

One of mine is New York. Could I praise Him for New York? Oh, that's hard to do.

But my troubles seem so dim in light of just where I live or other daily struggles, compared to many, many, others. I feel so selfish whining to God about my problems.

And then He led me to Ann's this morning. I drank this post, savoring every word.

Thankfulness. That's what He wants. In ALL things. For the pleasant, and not so pleasant. For the fleas.


:..Rebekah..: said...

This is so encouraging to me as I get ready to in to work a 12 hour graveyard shift. I do this three nights a week(all three nights are together). I go in to work in the evening and I get off in the morning in time to wake up the children, get breakfast ready, pack lunches, and all of that. I grow weary of it every week because my heart longs to be home with my family.
But, I know that in this I can still find joy. Your post reminds me to be thankful as I trust God to work in the situation. I can know joy in all circumstances, including this one.
Thanks again and God bless,

Terry said...

Great post, and great link, as well. We must learn: "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ concerning you." Thanks for the reminder

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I had never thought of it that way, but you are so right that sometimes the more we read or study a passage or verse or experience, the more affecting it is.

Hmmm--what are my fleas?

Deb said...

Ahhh, my fleas. So many times I try to annihilate them, when the Lord is telling me to be grateful for them and to let Him take care of them and use them for His purposes. Thanks for your encouragement.

Joel and Jaime said...

Isn't that awesome, that God's Word is completely new every time we read it?
And I'm sure I have many fleas that I complain about....but nothing that is actually worth it! Maybe we should all read the Hiding Place every couple of months just to remind us how blessed we really are....

Brenda said...

This was great--so was the link. I will try to remember this tomorrow as very little itty bitty things get me down.
And reading the verses over and over? I read to my daughter in James about the taming of the tongue 4 times before she asked "what does 'boast' mean?" And that started a really good discussion.
Read and re-read. Just as you would a love letter.

Betsy said...

Andrea- This is excatly what I've been studying lately! What a timely post. I think about the *hubbies* and their big plans which in turn makes me think about the big risks! It has definelty become a flea. Reading 1 Peter yesterday and I realized that it's not our Faith that is more precious than gold, but the Trials of our Faith that is more precious. That which is geniune has to be tested! It's makes me's not the flea that I'm rejoicing's in the MIDST of the fleas I can rejoice. Why? Because of what He has already done for me! Born again into a Living Hope. That's been my theme this week!

AIMEE said...

oh how I have missed reading your precious blog!! I have been busy the past 2 weeks and next to zero computer time...i love your "do the next thing" and have a blog entry I am playing around with in my head that is very similar to what you are saying..."what is on my PLATE for today"...and visualizing a plate that I eat of can't hold much...just a few things...
ANyway, my "fleas" are actually LICE! My daughter got them from a local children's museum playing with the dress-up hats...and every time I pull nits out of her hair I always think of Corrie and try to praise/thank the Lord. I failed last night at that and was totally frustrated and feeling like we'll never get to the end of these pesky creatures. Also we all keep getting colds...I am so tired of feeling sick, run-down, etc...another "flea" in my life. It just pushes me towards dependence on Him and my need for grace...oh to learn that in a less painful way! :)

Beverly said...

I have a few "fleas" and as someone above said, I keep trying to get rid of them, when God is actually trying to mold me and fashion me as I live with them. These things are all a part of His perfect plan for us -- to make us more like Himself! Excellent post.

Jana said...

Hey, thanks for stopping in and sharing some of your "words". LOL! I would have to agree with you about "moist". Ew. Have a great weekend!

Mindy said...

I appreciate your honesty.

Elise said...

My fleas... they hitch a ride and are so quiet sometimes I don't even know they're there at first. And I complain, and worry, and fuss...
For what?

I'm drinking deeply of the joy with you, with Ann. That post stirred me, too, especially now.

Love you.