Dayenu: It Would Have Been Enough

It is the method to my step and the life to my spirit and it is not that God is good, but that God is still good. In 2000, when my brother was killed in an accident, one of our friends wrote a poem called Dayenu. It’s a Hebrew word that means “It would have been enough,” and it was what the Israelites said after each common grace was given to them: escape from slavery, dayenu; through the red sea, dayenu; manna in the desert, dayenu.

It would have been enough if God had only done this one thing and nothing more, it would have been enough.

David prayed it again with different words: “Bless the Lord, oh my soul.” Soul, you’re downcast, you’re empty, you’re sad, but oh, what God has done! It is enough. So bless the Lord.

I think this tonight so many times because my soul is a heavy one today, the effects of sin are near and touching people I love and me too. I’m confronted about the words I say, I hug a tearstained girl, I cry my own tears, we’re praying for an unanswered prayer and this is what I’m thinking all day: God is good, yes, and so we long for the completion of what we want, but God is still good while the completion is far, far off.

It would have been enough if He had only created the earth and put us here to tend the garden.

It would have been enough if He had brought us out of captivity to settle in the wilderness.

It would have been enough to leave the Old Testament hanging for 500 more years.

It would have been enough to birth hope in a manger.

It would have been enough to have smitten His son and washed His hands of it.

It would have been enough for a resurrection alone.

It would have been enough for me to be born, to enter fighting and gasping for the stuff of earth.

It would have been enough for me to live through today.

Because God knows something that I cannot even fathom with my earth encrusted prayers and thinly veiled attempts to get more of Him by getting more of myself: He is still good and He is faithful to finish and He has already won.

This comforts me because sometimes I hear an answered prayer and my heart jumps inside of me, words on my lips: God is good! But I stop here, because even in the lack of what we pray for, He is still good. He has brought us thus far and He has done enough. He has not left stones unturned or promises unanswered. He is not waiting for you to get your act together or for me to learn one final lesson.

Tonight I’m asking myself what I’m asking for. Am I asking for meekness? For righteousness? For a glimpse of my heart’s desires? For repentance? For gratefulness? What am I asking for that cannot be quieted by one simple declaration: what You have done is enough for you to be worthy of all glory today.

About Lore Ferguson

Lore Ferguson is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. You can follow her on Twitter @loreferguson and read more of what she's saying at Sayable​.net.

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  1. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this, Lore.

  2. I am a pastor and would love to use this during Bible Study and one Sunday worship service in Whitehall United Methodist Church, Whitehall Ohio. I do not want to use without permission. Is this ok with you and the friend who composed the poem? Thank you for the blessing.

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