Isn’t it wonderful?
I used to love to watch President Hinckley in action with the press. Whenever he fielded a really difficult question, he would answer simply and directly, and then follow with a cheerful, “Isn’t it wonderful?” His sharp mind and guileless manner always won over his detractors. He was absolutely disarming in his warm, clear and plain witness of what was true.
Perhaps the thing that stays with me the most is his hopeful declaration: “Isn’t it wonderful?” With these three words he expressed faith, hope and charity all at once. It makes me think of the account of Dutch sisters Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom, who were imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Nazis for their role in protecting Jews during the Holocaust. Their barracks were the most detested by the prisoners, because of the infestation of fleas. Through it all, Betsie urged Corrie to follow the Lord’s counsel to give gratitude in all things. Corrie was a good soldier through most of what they had to endure, but could not reconcile how the Lord’s love was manifest in such a meaningless pestilence as the fleas.
Much later Corrie came to know that the reason that the Bible they huddled over for clandestine prayer meetings in their barracks was never found–nor much less, the prayer meetings themselves–was because the guards themselves were loath to enter into the barracks where the fleas were such a problem. The very fleas were a gift from God–a gift that allowed them to share hope and faith with so many others who were without a reason to live.
Isn’t it wonderful?
The very things that seem to try our patience, our faith, our endurance, our good will–these, not least of all, are the things that represent the Lord’s abundant kindness to us. We all know this, in hindsight. Would that, like Betsie, like President Hinckley, we could see with the eyes of faith and praise God for the fleas.
this is lovely.
Rachel, good reminder. I try to be thankful even for the challenges, but I usually fail. 🙂
Maybe you could express your thankfulness for the many opportunities you’re given to help you learn to be thankful in trials…?
Rachel, this post has special meaning for me. Thank you for sharing this. I so needed to read this post. Isn’t it wonderful? 😉
I’m touched, Brian. I know that between my husband and I, “It’s the fleas” is shorthand for “Be still and know that I am God.” When we have had the grace to acknowledge His hand in our adversities they have become sweet to us, even through the pain.
Beautifully written. Thank you Rachel for your wise words and reminder G-d is mindful of us.
Thanks, Joanna. B’Ezrat HaShem, we will remember that He is.
You have well expressed something that weighs on my mind. The universe, at times, seems so meaningless.
I am caught with a thought: it’s either all meaningful or all meaningless. It’s hard to see how it could be partially meaningful.
I think all religion is about having faith that it’s all meaningful — even if it’s not obvious right now.
Wow, Bruce, that’s a compelling thought. So profound. I can say without any hesitation (although I still marvel at how weak I can feel in the throes of some great trial) that I have absolutely no doubt that it is all meaningful.
Thanks for sharing Rachel. I forgot these words. Isn’t it wonderful. I am still struggling to keep optimistic through lifes trials. It is sometimes hard to remember those words. Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me.