The Bible and The Fleas

“ … give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

How special is God’s Word to you?

Have you ever wondered what life might be like if you didn’t have it?

Did you know that in North Korea it is illegal to own a Bible? And in many other countries, it is very difficult to obtain a Bible. In some places, owning a Bible might cost a person his or her life.

Corrie ten Boom was a young woman who faced some of these very difficult circumstances with bravery, hope and most of all, prayer.

Corrie lived in Holland during World War II. Her family were devoted Christians and when Nazi Germany began to arrest, deport and harm the Jewish people, Corrie and her family secretively hid as many Jews as they could in their own home. But in February 1944, the Gestapo raided Corrie’s home; she and her family were arrested and sent to prison camps.

In her biography, The Hiding Place, Corrie tells a story about her time in the prison camp and shares how very precious God’s Word was to her. She had managed to sneak a Bible into the camp with her, even though it was not allowed.

“Yet, in the midst of the suffering, the women prisoners around Corrie and Betsie found comfort in the little Bible studies they held in the barracks. Corrie writes they gathered around the Bible ‘like waifs clustered around a blazing fire…The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God.’ ” (

After a while, the guards moved the girls to a new barracks. They were filthy and infested with fleas. Corrie felt discouraged and hopeless, but Betsie pointed out that the Bible says we should give thanks in all circumstances. As they prayed together, Betsie thanked God for the fleas!

Corrie thought her sister was crazy, but a short time later, she joined Betsie in thanking God. Because of the fleas, none of the guards would come near the barracks where the two sisters were held with dozens of other women. In those cells, they held Bible studies freely, without fear of the guards catching and punishing them.

God, thank you for allowing us to own and read your Holy Word. Thank you for parents and teachers who have the freedom to teach us about you, and thank you that we are able to freely tell others about you, too. Teach us to be thankful always for this privilege and to pray for those who don’t have access to your Word. Help us to treat your Word with respect and honor.

This article was originally written for a young audience and published in ‘Tween Girls and God.

2 thoughts on “The Bible and The Fleas

  1. Very interesting, thanks for sharing Abby !

    I know of Corrie Ten Boom and we have watched a very good documentary about her. An amazing lady from a very good family. I still haven’t read the book, though it’s on my list.

    She gave us some of my favourite quotes :
    – “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
    – “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
    – “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.”
    – “Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.”
    – “Let God’s promises shine on your problems.

    It’s often difficult to realise or admit that the evil one gets to work on us and on others around us, pushing us or other people to spoil the plans that God has made for us. As soon as we feel ourselves being blocked and/or reduced to worry or fear, we need to pray hard to be delivered from evil.
    Corrie says : “The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.”

    I receive a very good daily devotional from Bible Gateway called “Standing Strong Through The Storm” and it gives many examples of what you mention : persecution, imprisonment and death for being Christians or simply possessing a bible. Some of the stories where people have come through terrible experiences and survived are amazing. One can clearly see where God is at work.

    Read more at:

    1. Thanks, David! I’ll look up both of those links. I just recently learned that in the US, learning about the persecuted church is one of the highest priorities and greatest desires of the American, Christian populous (the congregation). Unfortunately, there’s a disconnect and the leadership, shepherds, pastors don’t see that as a critical thing to address and inform their parishioners about. I’ve been spending more time recently focusing (through My Daily Armor: a ministry I work for, on the homeless here in the US and orphans in countries like Ghana and India.
      Hope you’re well!!

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