I have a great story to share with you. My father was visiting us this past month, and he told us about something that happened to him when he was 2 years old.

The year was 1944, and his father, my grandfather, who had been drafted into army service, was stationed at an army base near Yuba City, California. My grandmother decided that she wanted to visit him, and so she bought tickets for a flight that would take her and my father from New York to California.

For some reason, the airplane made a stop in Chicago, and my grandmother and father very inconveniently got bumped from the flight. Determined to continue, my grandmother hopped on a train that took them to California. When they arrived, they heard the news: The flight that they had been bumped from crashed. Everyone on board was killed.

It’s no wonder that when my grandmother passed away more than 60 years later, they found among her saved belongings the airplane tickets from this flight and a newspaper clipping describing the crash. For 60 years, my grandmother kept this reminder that nothing in life happens coincidentally.

I had a slightly challenging time last week with my appliances. Our dryer broke, which would not be a big deal in the heat of the summer, but in the cold of the winter, with a family of six (not to mention that I am a massage therapist, who needs to constantly wash sheets for sessions), a broken dryer is definitely a technical difficulty! Then my food processor jumped out at me from the cabinet and came crashing to the floor, breaking into a million pieces. My food processor is my right-hand man for all my Shabbat meal preparations, and there it lay, shattered.

At the end of the week I went to a client’s home to give a treatment. As I was carrying my massage table down the many cement stairs that led from my client’s home, my laptop fell out of my backpack and came crashing down onto the cement floor. I picked it up, not even wanting to think about what had just happened. Now let me remind you, I’m not just a massage therapist, I’m also a writer! You know what a laptop is for a writer . . .

Back at home, I opened the laptop, and there was a spider’s web of a screen in front of me. It was late. I was tired. “Why?” I wanted to cry. I looked at my husband. “Thank G‑d, it was just the computer and not my head! But tell me something. Why?”

He looked back at me. “Thank G‑d, it’s just a computer.”

Why did all this happen in one week? I don’t know. I could make things up, but do I really know why? Does it matter why?

There once was a great sage named Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud relates this story about him:

Rabbi Akiva was accustomed to saying, “Everything G‑d does is for the good.” Once Rabbi Akiva was traveling with a donkey, a rooster and a candle, and when night came he tried to find lodging in a nearby village, only to be turned away. No one wanted him. Although Rabbi Akiva was forced to spend the night in the field, he didn’t complain, but instead his reaction was, “Everything G‑d does is for the good.” A wind came and blew out his candle, a cat ate his rooster and a lion ate his donkey. With each thing that occurred, Rabbi Akiva’s reaction was the same: “Everything that G‑d does is for the good.” That night, a regiment came and took the entire town (where Rabbi Akiva had wanted to stay) captive, while Rabbi Akiva, who was sleeping in the dark and quiet field, went unnoticed and thus was spared. When Rabbi Akiva realized what happened, he said, "Didn’t I tell you that everything that G‑d does is for the good?”1

The commentator Rashi explains that if the candle, rooster or donkey would have been around, the regiment would have spotted or heard them, and surely would have captured Rabbi Akiva.

Now, let me give you a twist on this story. Let’s say that Rabbi Akiva never found out about the fate of the village. And let’s just say that my grandmother and father boarded the train, and never heard that the plane had crashed . . .

In our daily prayers we say:

“We give thanks to You, acknowledging that You are the L‑rd our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers forever. You are the strength of our life, the shield of our salvation in every generation. We will give thanks to You and recount Your praise, evening, morning and noon, for our lives that are committed into Your hand, for our souls that are entrusted to You, for the hidden miracles that You do for us every day, and for Your continual wonders and beneficences. You are the Beneficent One, for Your mercies never cease; the Merciful One, for Your kindnesses never end; for we always place our hope in You.”

Why do we include this particular prayer in our daily prayers? Because as Rabbi Bechayei, a 14th-century commentator, wrote, “There isn’t any individual in Israel for whom hidden miracles don’t happen every day!”

Sometimes we are given a glimpse, a very small piece of a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, a puzzle that includes not only the physical reality of the world as we know it, but the spiritual world as well. This spiritual world is beyond human comprehension and our limited human vision. If we could really see the entire puzzle, we would see that the very thing that was so tragic and difficult for us is for the best. But it is only when the spiritual parts to the puzzle will be revealed to us that we will see this.

When we do see the salvation—when it’s revealed to us and we are grateful for it—surely we need to hold onto it, to remind us that there are no coincidences and that, yes, everything that G‑d does is for the best. It’s so hard to discern where the piece of the puzzle goes and what the puzzle really looks like. It’s so hard to see clearly the good in each thing that happens, but ultimately we must know something: Hidden or revealed, everything that G‑d does is for the best. Twenty-four hours of the day, seven days of the week, 365 days of the year, He performs miracles for us.