THANKING FOR WHAT YOU DONT HAVE
Thanking Hashem for what you have…and what you don’t have.
Jews are always thanking Hashem. We wake up every morning and the first words we utter are modeh ani, thanking Hashem for restoring our souls to us after our sleep.
So we do have this awareness that we need to thank G-d constantly for all the blessings we have, big or small. Just waking up in the morning is a blessing to be thankful for. Just having our own soul restored to us is a blessing, a kindness.
But what about thanking G-d for the things we don’t have? What does that mean? Well, sometimes it is easy to thank Hashem for our blessings. But sometimes , although we appreciate the good we have, we still feel strongly a lack of things we want or feel we need. So it becomes harder to appreciate the good in a positive sense.
What we can do , however, is appreciate the PROBLEMS WE DON’T HAVE.
We can make an accounting of all the problems that we would not want to have and that we do not have.
If you don’t have financial problems, thank Hashem.
If you don’t have health issues, thank Hashem.
If you have a minor issue but not a serious one, thank Hashem.
If you don’t have problems with finding the right spouse to marry, thank Hashem.
If you are not lacking children, thank Hashem.
If you are not lacking shalom bayit, thank Hashem.
If you don’t suffer from boredom, thank Hashem.
If you don’t lack friends, thank Hashem.
If you don’t suffer from psychological or emotional problems, thank Hashem.
if you don’t lack a proper home, thank Hashem.
And as you thank Hashem for what you DON’T HAVE, you begin to realize more of what you do have. Then you can more fully thank Hashem for good health, for proper parnassa, for a good spouse, for good children, for good friends, for a nice home etc. etc.
And then you can thank Hashem also for your spiritual benefits;
Do you live in a good Jewish community?
Do you have a synagogue you like attending?
Do you learn Torah?
Do you have a good spiritual situation in life?
All of those are especially important to appreciate. Because even if you have all the material blessings in the world, if you lack spirituality and meaning in life, you will never find total happiness.
But if you have a good and healthy spiritual life, lacking material things does not have to get you down so much. You can learn to be happy with your lot in life as long as you have a good and strong relationship with Hashem.
So now in this month of Elul, take a serious cheshbon of your life: of what you have and what problems you don’t have. And may we all merit to appreciate Hashem more and to thank Him more and may Hashem bless each and every one of us with everything we need this coming new year. May everyone merit a ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetuka!