When the Maccabees arrived at the holy Temple in Jerusalem to liberate and reconsecrate it, they found a single small cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the High Priest. They thought this would be enough oil to last only one night, but a miracle occurred and the oil burned for eight days.
If the Maccabees had said, “We don’t have enough oil to do this ceremony properly, let’s just give up,” we wouldn’t be collectively celebrating Hanukkah right now.
Many of us today are facing seemingly hopeless situations and the temptation to give up is strong.
“I’ll never lose this weight. I’m destined to get diabetes, like my mother.”
“It’s impossible for me to work in a field that I like.”
“I’ll always be alone and unmarried!”
DON’T GIVE UP BEFORE THE MIRACLE!
A righteous man falls down seven times and gets up. – King Solomon, Proverbs, 24:16.
Keep getting up and don’t quit! The Maccabees worked as hard as they possibly could and controlled the things they could control, and then left the rest up to G-d.
There is of course no guarantee that we will merit a miracle (the Maccabees also weren’t guaranteed anything). Sometimes the best course of action is to turn yourself into an empty vessel that can be filled up with G-d’s abundant blessings and keep working diligently towards your goals. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll merit the good fortune that today seems to require a miracle…