Exactly What We Need
Yael Eckstein | December 5, 2022
Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. — Numbers 11:31
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a renowned Jewish theologian, once said, “It is gratefulness which makes the soul great.” Please enjoy these devotions focused on gratitude during this season when families gather to give thanks.
We live in a society of wanting. There is always something else to want, to have, to own. There is always something more to be had, leaving us with the feeling that there is no such thing as enough, let alone the possibility of having too much. Whatever it is that we have, we believe that there can always be more.
We are all familiar with the challenges of having too little, but there is also a danger in having too much. Many of us think, “If having wealth is a challenge, then bring it on!” But while the challenge of having too much seems enticing, the truth is that it can lead to consequences just as unpleasant as — or worse than — the test of having too little.
Exactly What We Need
In the Book of Numbers, we read about the children of Israel who were unsatisfied with what God had provided, and wanted more. And God gave it to them. We read, “Now a wind went out from the LORD and drove quail in from the sea. It scattered them up to two cubits deep all around the camp, as far as a day’s walk in any direction. “
A few verses later, we see that there was so much food to eat that the people became sick from it. The point was made — it is possible to have too much.
Just as plants need exactly the right amount of water — not less and also not more — in order to thrive and grow, so, too, do we human beings — flowers in the garden of God — need just the right amount of resources in order to grow.
In the words of Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler, a great 20th century teacher of ethics and theology, “Whatever is not meant for me will not help me.” God is our gardener, and He knows exactly what we need. Sometimes less is really more, and what we lack can be our greatest blessing.
During this season of gratitude to God, let us accept what He has provided in a spirit of thanksgiving, knowing from the bottom of our hearts that we have exactly what we need.