Written by Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski
Rabbi Baruch of Mezhibozh was reciting the prayer before Kiddush Friday night, and as he read "I thank You G-d for all the kindnesses that You have done for me, and for those that You will do for me in the future...." he paused and reflected, "Why must I thank G-d in advance for future kindnesses? Why not just wait until those kindnesses occur and thank Him then?" After a few moments of meditation, Rabbi Baruch said: "Ah, I understand. When those kindnesses in the future occur, they may be packaged in such a manner that I will not recognize them as kindnesses, but perhaps experience them as sufferings, and I will then not be in a position to appreciate them and be grateful for them. That is why I must thank G-d for them in advance."
After a few moments, Rabbi Baruch began to weep. "How tragic" he said, "that G-d will be doing kindnesses for me and I will not be able to recognize them as such."