The Way to Appreciate All God’s Blessings
Yael Eckstein | September 21, 2021
Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the LORD your God. — Leviticus 23:42-43
Today and throughout the week, my family and I will join Jews around the world in celebrating Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles. Please enjoy these devotions centered on this joyous holiday that were prepared for you in advance.
Do you enjoy camping? I love it, and so does my family! Everything from putting up the tent, to building the fire, to sleeping in a sleeping bag with little separating me from the bare ground. The experience of roughing it, of being outside and exposed to the elements, is invigorating, refreshing, and even inspiring.
But as much as I enjoy being out in nature, one of my favorite parts of camping is coming home. Showering and getting into my own bed just feels so good after a few nights without the usual comforts of home.
Perhaps there is a lesson that we can learn from camping. Maybe we enjoy it so much because we know that we have homes to return to. What about those who are homeless? Or people whose homes are not so comfortable due to poverty?
Appreciating All God’s Blessings
I believe that this is what God teaches us every year with the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot. The Bible tells us that we are to live in a flimsy, temporary shelter known as a sukkah for seven days. Is this some kind of punishment?
On the contrary. Sukkot is the feast of ingathering, a joyous time to celebrate the abundance that God has blessed us with throughout the year. What better way to appreciate all God’s blessings and all He has given us than by leaving our homes and giving up our usual comforts as a way of reminding ourselves what it feels like to be vulnerable and exposed.
The sukkah that we live in for seven days connects us to the forty years that the Israelites spent in the desert, openly dependent on God — eating manna from heaven and drinking water that miraculously flowed from a rock.
Sukkot is a beautiful reminder to appreciate all God’s blessings and to know no matter how solid and comfortable our homes, we are blessed and protected only by God’s grace and love.
As a family, think of ways you might reach out to help the vulnerable and homeless in your community as a way of appreciating what God has blessed you with.