The Everyday Miracles of God
She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children. — Genesis 29:35
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Vayetze, which means “and he left,” from Genesis 28:10–32:3.
When I was young, like most girls do, I dreamt of the day when I would have children of my own. Yet, by the time I was ready to start a family, I understood that having children was not something to take for granted. I had friends who struggled with infertility and learned that many women endure miscarriages that most people never know about. When my husband and I were blessed with our first child, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the miracle of a healthy baby girl.
In this week’s Torah portion, we learn that Leah gave birth to her fourth son and said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” The Jewish sages commented that with this statement, Leah became the first human being to ever praise God. How can that be? Hadn’t others such as Abraham and Isaac praised God before Leah?
The sages explained that while other people had, in fact, praised God, they had only done so in response to unusual miraculous events. Leah was the first to praise God for the everyday miracles. She gave birth to a healthy baby and recognized that she had experienced a miracle.
God’s Miracles Are Everywhere
It’s easy to take God’s everyday miracles for granted. We don’t always notice the extraordinary phenomena like the glorious morning sunrise or the brilliance of the stars at night. We don’t always appreciate the gift of a dear friendship or the ability to eat a satisfying meal. But when we open our eyes, we can see that God’s miracles are everywhere.
In the daily Jewish prayers, we recite a prescribed prayer of gratitude, which includes the following words: “We give thanks to You… Your miracles are with us every day and Your wonders and Your goodness are at all times.” This prayer is a constant reminder to reflect upon the miracles that we experience daily so that we don’t ever take them for granted.
The more we recognize God’s hand in the little things, the more we will experience Him in the big things. And when we acknowledge God’s everyday miracles, we will merit seeing the greatest miracles of all.
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