Nov 21, 2007

An Attitude of Gratitude

Cornucopia Fine Art Print -

Recently, I was reminded of Corrie Ten Boom's plight in the Nazi prison camps. Corrie and her sister, Betsie, were imprisoned for hiding Jews and members of the Dutch underground workers in their Holland home during WWII. The sisters spent 10 months in 3 concentration camps; Betsie eventually died during their time at the infamous Ravensbruck.

The barrack conditions were unbearable, being located very close to the crematorium and the overwhelming stench of prison atrocities. Add to this the hours that the prisoners were forced to stand at attention in freezing temperatures and their cramped, flea infested quarters.

When being admitted to the camp, Corrie had miraculously smuggled in a Bible under her cotton dress. This enabled the ladies to conduct Bible studies, made easier by the fact that the soldier's rarely made visits. At one point, Betsie suggested that the prisoners give thanks to the Lord for their situation. Betsie quoted I Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJ), "In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Corrie struggled with this, especially since she could not fathom the idea of thanking the Lord for fleas! Betsie reminded Corrie that God didn't limit thanksgiving to perfect situations, but that gratitude was all inclusive.

It is interesting to note that the scripture states, "In everything," not for everything. This makes a notable difference in our approach because an "attitude of gratitude" basically acknowledges that God is continuously in control and working behind the scenes. There is always something to be thankful for, even if it's simply to rehearse what God has already accomplished for us and what His Word promises in present circumstances.

It was later that the ladies learned of why the soldiers were so scarce. The reason? Fleas!

[Corrie Ten Boom is the author of The Hiding Place. Through the efforts of the Ten Boom family and their many friends, it is estimated that 800 Jewish lives were saved. In Jewish tradition, only very blessed people are allowed to die on their Birthdays. Corrie passed away on her 91st Birthday on April 15th, 1983.]


  1. My apologies to anyone who previously posted on this entry. I was having formatting troubles and had to copy and paste this into another post. Your comments are so precious to me. I am sorry to have lost what was said. I will try to retrieve comments through emails.

    Blessings, KJ

  2. Alice wrote . . .

    What a blessing it was for me to stop here this Thanksgiving morning and read your posting. Thank you so much for sharing.

    [Reinstated from email. KJ]

  3. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality wrote . . .

    Hi, KJ! Thanks for stopping by to see me. What a wonderful post to remind us to be grateful. I sometimes have a problem doing that tend to dwell to much on the negative going on don't take the time to be thankful for what I DO have.Have a great Thanksgiving today with your family!xo,Rhoda

    [Reinstated from email. KJ]

  4. I remember when Corrie died and got her sweet release from this world. That book made such an impact on me as a teenager! I keep meaning to share it with my boys (who don't like to pick up a book....)

  5. Corrie Ten boom....a Favorite of mine..I am getting the DVD, the Hiding Place for Christmas....
    I ordered it at Susan's BY GRACE blog..she is a missionary and has a blog link to CBD on her blog and it helps them out too...just love CTB's faithfulness...and so many of her quotes.


Thanks for stopping by!
♫ Karen