My last post brought up some discussion and I wanted to share some thoughts of the back and forth with you.
Someone wanted to know how to reach that level of emunah-of knowing with such certainty that everything Hashem does is for the good. It’s something that takes a lot of work…a lifetime of work.
One thing I feel that has helped me get to that point (and I’m still working at it!) is to think back to different things that have happened in my life and that I’ve been through in my life and notice the good that came out of it.
There were things that were obviously good-from the beginning, like the schools I went to and the people I got to know while I was there. There are things like my year in seminary and I can truly say that my experiences there shaped me, molded me, changed me and helped me be the person I am today.
But then there are the less obvious things. Difficult things I would never have chosen to experience. I can look back at those things and know that there is good that came out of it. I am a different person because of those challenging times. There is no way I could be the person I am today if I haven’t gone through those things. I would never have asked for them but I can actually see some element of good that came out as a result of those experiences. They were painful for me, but I am a different me because of them.
Sometimes, I can actually see something intrinsically good that came as a result of the difficult times. Not just the person I am or became. Not just the changes inside me. There are things that happened that may not have happened had I not gone through the pain. There were difficult times that were catalysts for good changes in my life and the life of my family. Thinking about those things reinforces the belief that each thing that happens, every single thing Hashem puts me through, is for the good.
Looking back at the things that happened in my life, the good and the bad, the easy and the difficult, the comfortable and the uncomfortable, I can know with certainty that every single thing Hashem does is for the good. Sometimes I am blessed to see it and other times I cannot see. But recognizing the good that came out of the things I am aware of makes this knowledge enter the very fiber of my being and know it…really know it so deep inside me…that no matter what, whether I see it or I don’t, it is for the good.
But…with all this knowledge, do I think one day I will be able to thank Hashem for the difficult things I had to go through?
I don’t know. I just don’t know. I think it may be a madreiga of tzaddikim to be able to thank Hashem for the tough things they experienced. And that might be because they know with such clarity that every single thing is good, and even if it was hard, there were good things that came from it. Things like growth in their emunah, a deeper connection to Hashem or whatever other things THEY changed as a person. Maybe they have a deeper vision, a better understanding, or a rock solid emunah that I’m working to get.
But for me, whatever knowledge I do have doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a hard thing to go through. If I had a choice, maybe I’d play my life differently-so it’s a good thing I don’t have a choice! I know these things are good for me but am I thankful for the pain?
Yes, I know it’s for the good, and just working on that knowledge and internalizing it will take time…but being able to be thankful for it is another step…a step for greater people than me…and mayyybe one day I’ll reach that level. But for now, I’m allowing myself to be a human being. :-)
I do not ask for pain but when I am thrown into a difficult situation, I will do my best to climb...as slowly as I need to...and never stop climbing.