The Blessing of the SeasonsOctober 21, 2020 - 12:00 am
“As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.” — Genesis 8:22
Each week in synagogue or at home, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Noach, from the name of the main character, Noah. It is from Genesis 6:9 –11:32.
In Israel, we don’t see a drop of rain during the long hot summer. When the first shower of winter arrives, we thank God and sometimes, my kids and I go out and dance in the rain to celebrate. Yet, as the months go by, we grow tired of the wet and cold days. By the time spring comes around, we are so thankful for warm weather and look forward to the long hot summer again.
According to Jewish tradition, during the time of Noah, who we learn about in this week’s Torah portion, there were no seasons. It rained only once every 40 years and that was enough to sustain life for four decades. The weather was perfect every day, and the environment was always conducive for growing produce.
However, as a result of such a comfortable and abundant environment, people stopped praying to God and lost their connection to Him. Consequently, humanity descended morally until they became completely corrupt, and God had no choice but to destroy them.
After the flood, God began the world anew and promised, “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” This verse tells us that God will never destroy the world again. However, according to Jewish tradition, it also teaches us that this is when God gave us the blessings of the seasons.
God wanted humankind to be cold in the winter so that they would pray for heat and hot in the summer so that they would pray for cooling. He wanted people to plant and then pray for rain and a good harvest.
God blessed us with the seasons because He wants people to experience longing and lacking so that they will pray to Him and maintain a close relationship with Him. Moreover, through prayer, we can receive far more than we would if we didn’t turn to God for our needs.
I pray that we all enjoy many comforts and blessings in our lives, but also that we experience a healthy dose of discomfort sometimes so that we will pray deeply, grow closer to God, and enjoy even more blessings.
Your turn: What is causing you discomfort in your life right now? See it as a catalyst to fuel your prayers and bring about abundant blessings.