Monday, April 13, 2009

Dayenu - A Passover Lesson in "It is Enough!"

An Open Heart Journal
Living /Each Day Better Than the One Before
April 13, 2009

I had an appointment with my cardiologist today which was very good. It was the first time for him to see me since February and he was quite amazed at how well I looked and am feeling. It felt great to go and also return home on the same day without stopping at the hospital. It is now Day 24 of being out of the hospital and today's appointment seemed to confirm that "so far, so good." There is one word to describe how I really feel - content. Is my blood pressure still high - yes, and often on a daily basis - but the amount of medication need to bring it down will certainly make me a zombie which is NOT an option for me. Do I still have chest pains? - yes, but now I've learned to handle them without panicking. Am I seriously limited in my daily activities - oh, you bet, but I don't stress over 20 item "to do" lists anymore and stay content with just my "Big Five" and rejoice when something can be added. The following is one example of how I am learning to live one day at a time and one moment at a time in this hectic, driven world.



This year my favorite part of the Passover Seder came during what used to seem the most tedious and boring - the recitation of the "Dayenu." In Hebrew "Dayenu" means "It is enough." Now, this is NOT the "I've had enough, and I'm not going to take it anymore" thinking. It literally means, if nothing else happens, what just took place is enough.

In the Passover this phrase is said after each of 15 steps it took to remove the Children of Israel from Egypt. It literally goes like this..."If You (God) had only brought us to the Red Sea but not parted it - DAYENU!" and everyone in the room shouts"Dayenu" and slapping their hand on the table for emphasis. This happens 15 times (or more if the Seder is a "Messianic" Seder where Yeshua is recognized as the Passover Lamb and Messiah) and is usually followed by singing the song also called, "Dayenu."

But the reality is that for most of us the idea of "Dayenua" almost absurd. Who, in their right mind is going to say, "If You had only parted the Red Sea but not let us go through it, it would have been enough" ?

Think about one thing thing that God has done for you this year. And then go back just one step away from that one thing's completion. Could you honestly say something like, "If You (God) had only brought me to the hospital in time but not let the doctor's save my life, it would have been enough." Now I do realized that had He NOT saved your life you wouldn't be saying anything at all - but I'm just trying to make Hebrew point in the midst of our insanely Greek thinking.

In what areas can you right now tell God, "It is (or would have been) enough?" This is truly the Hebrew version of, "It is well with my soul."

I have figured out my Dayenu and I was so reminded of it during this Passover I found myself shouting "Dayenu" louder and with more meaning than in the past 12 Seders I have attended.

My "Dayenu" is this..."If You (God) brought me through the surgeries and never heal my heart, it is enough." Now I know that won't sit well with many of you but Ihear me out. I'm not saying God can't or won't heal my heart nor am I saying to stop praying for the healing of my heart. But right now I am doing this one thing - living with whatever heart I have and right now that's proving to be successful. If I have just one thing to focus on it is to have more "good" days than bad ones. Whatever God wants to do and whenever He wants to do it is up to Him and not me and I have chosen to be content right where I am.

The truth is that everyone in the medical profession who has either seen my heart up close and personal or simply read my medical records is totally amazed I'm doing anything at all let alone, walking, driving, shopping and living! On paper I look dead! But here I am. I'm not running a marathon, in fact I'm not even walking on a treadmill, but I AM walking and I am alive and I am having GOOD days. And you know what? - that is DAYENU!

My daily goals are very simple - to do the five things I have to do everyday which are essential to my physical well being and maybe add just one or two more activities. I'm not driving myself to clean the whole apartment - I'm content to be able to clean one shelf or one drawer or simply iron one shirt. Why? Because I am simply content to have a "good" day. Some days I end up doing even more than the doctors think I can do and there is really no natural explanation - but God. He can and does strengthen me to do more even though my heart is just as sick today as it was yesterday. To me THAT is a miracle and it truly is "Dayenu."

Yes, I DO believe God heals - I experienced it first hand having been the first Baptist girl I knew healed from a wheelchair during a 15 minute nap. And please, do not tell me that my "dayenu" attitude is going to keep me from being healed this time. The truth is, I've had this same attitude for the majority of my life and never knew there was a word for it. I even had it the very day I laid down to take a nap with my entire body wracked with the pain of Lupus and I woke up completely whole.

It is 'Dayenu" that brings me to tell God, "I still trust matter how far You bring me or even where You leave me."

Friends, we are living in a day when not everything we have been taught about God is playing out for us and His absolute Sovereignty in everything is being presented to us in what may appear to be painful and frightening ways. But it does not have to be painful OR frightening. We need to cling to one thing - that not only IS God Sovereign, but He is forever loving - even in the midst of His Sovereignty. Somehow the Children of Israel already knew this and they were instructed to pass this understanding down from one generation to another.

It might not "feel" good but I believe we all need a little, "Dayenu" in our lives today. And for those who know the melody, try singing the song, Dayenu, as a song of true worship to the One Who is truly in control, loves you and will bring you into His Kingdom when it is truly "all said and done,"