”קטנתי מכל החסדים ומכל האמת אשר עשית את עבדיך”
Yaakov said “I am humbled from receiving all this kindness from Hashem” Yaakov was saying that he is not befitting all the kindness bestowed upon him.
Hashem is so good to us and grants us so many blessings. If we would focus on how much goodness we have in our lives, we would always feel happy and content. Human nature, though, is such that we tend to take what we have for granted. This results in our feeling that Hashem is not giving us what we need and not helping us.
The work Bayam Derech gives the example of a young man who, after several years of looking for a shidduch, is still single. His quest for finding his right match occupies his mind throughout the day. All he wants is to finally meet the right one and move on with his life. He goes from one shadchan to the next, exploring every avenue and possibility. His friends are all married with children and he feels alone and abandoned. When he speaks to people about his situation, he tells them, “If I could just get married, all my problems will be solved I’d be so happy for the rest of my life”
Now let us imagine someone tells him, “You know, there are many issues that could arise in marriage. Sometimes there’s friction between husband and wife. You might one day tell your wife that you need to be somewhere in the evening, so you need dinner to be ready when you come home from work, but when you get home, you find she hasn’t even started making supper and she’s busy with other matters. This could be a problem.”
The young man’s response would probably be something along the lines of, “Please! If I had a wife, I would never get upset at her, no matter what she did. I would be happy all the time!”
He would mean it, and indeed, after he gets married, for the first several months his love for his wife enables him to overlook any problem that arises. As time goes by, he finds himself becoming annoyed over even small issues. What happened? He got used to his wonderful gift. Once it is taken for granted, he no longer perceives it as a precious gift.
We so quickly forget Hashem’s kindnesses. Hashem is so kind and gives is so much. But we have to recognise it. A person should not have to become seriously ill to appreciate the blessing of health. If we are able to live normally, to see, to talk, to walk about, to have a roof over our heads, and to earn enough money to put food on the table, then we should feel blessed. If we train ourselves to appreciate all that Hashem gives us, then we will always be happy and we will love Hashem. Should we fail to appreciate our blessings and take everything for granted, then all the possessions in the world won’t make us happy, as we will always feel we are lacking something.
Hashem is so kind, but it’s up to us to see and appreciate it. And by recognising His kindness and thanking Him for every small detail of our lives, we bring even more blessing upon ourselves.