“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail . . . ” — Job 38:22
A rabbi once told the following story to illustrate how God values each of us among the seven billion people living today:
There was once a father who went to visit his son away at school. The father went to his child’s dormitory room, but his son was not there. The father checked the school’s study hall, but among all the young men studying the Bible, his son was nowhere to be seen. After checking all over the school and still not finding his son, the father went to the principal’s office and told him that his son appeared to be missing. The principal said to him: “Don’t worry – you have eight others like him at home!”
Of course, as the story infers, it wouldn’t matter if the father had 20 more sons at home. He would still want to know that the missing son was okay. No matter how many children a parent might have, he or she loves each one uniquely and deeply. It’s the same way with us and God. Even if there were 20 billion people alive today, God would still be concerned for each and every one of us and love us in a unique and profound way.
In the book of Job, God admonished Job: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail.” The Jewish sages teach that no two snowflakes or raindrops are created the same. Of the trillions that fall each year, each one is unique and God created all individually. If this is true of snowflakes that melt in an instant, how much more so is each human being, the crown of God’s creation, loved by Him. The sages also teach, “Just as every person’s face is unique and different from another, so, too, are their personalities.” Each person is a world unto himself or herself, unlike any other, created by God with love.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the great 18th-century Ukrainian teacher, once said: “The day you were born was the day God decided that the world could not exist without you.” If we think that we are just one more human being living on earth, with no distinct value, then we will naturally lack motivation and inspiration to make a positive impact on the world.
However, when we recognize that we are a unique, indispensable part of God’s creation, deliberately brought to life at this very time in history, then we are naturally catapulted into a purpose-driven life. We know that we matter. We know that God cares. And we know that we were placed here for a purpose; it is our privilege and responsibility to fulfill it.