Friday, December 28, 2012

Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

I wanted to share a very powerful and inspiring message from this weeks parshah, Parshas Vayechi. Before Yaakov blessed Menashe and Efrayim, he said to Yosef, "Panecha lo pilalti v'hinei her'ah osi elokim gam es zarecha"-I did not imagine seeing your face, and here G-d has shown me even your offspring! (Artscroll translation)

We see from here something incredible. Sometimes, when we are in a difficult situation, we don't see a way out. There is no light to look out for or even attempt to get close to the end of the tunnel and we are too engulfed in darkness and pain. But a Jew must remember, Hashem could do anything!

When you are going through hardships, and can't begin to imagine an outcome anywhere near where your mind wishes it can go, keep in mind that Hashem could take you even further than that.

So...to the single girl going through a difficult family situation and wishing for a way out of her pain, to the childless couple waiting, wishing and hoping for the day when they too will become parents, to the parents running from doctor to doctor with their sick child, to the breadwinner struggling with finances...and to everyone else in between-working through their own day-to-day challenges, know that Hashem is with you every step of the way...and He can bring you a yeshua that surpasses your wildest dreams!

Look at Yaakov Avinu and how he was told that his most precious, beloved son died. Did he ever dream he would see the day where he would be blessing his own grandchildren, the offspring of his son he thought was no longer among the living?

This is the message we can take from this weeks parsha.

When things seem so overwhelming and you can't see a way out of your problems, when everything seems too big and you just want to give up, remember this message and let it empower you to keep pushing, to keep going.

Hashem doesn't need ideas from you of how to get out of your current situation and how to change things for the better. When you daven to Him from he depths of your soul, ask Him to take you out of your darkness in a way that He sees fit. In a way that only He can do. He can take you to far off places..,places further than your imagination has ever gone to!

Imagine for a moment, a holocaust survivor, holding her grandson in her arms...watching him grow and mature into a young man...sitting at his bar mitzvah...and then rejoicing at his wedding. Then...she gets to experience even more joy in her old age. Her grandson becomes a father...and she becomes a great grandmother. Would she have ever pictured the moment when she would hold a great grandchild in her arms, sitting on the couch surrounded by her growing family of grandchildren and great grandchildren? When she was going through so much pain in her younger years, during the holocaust, her mind could not have stretched that far. But here she is. She lived to see he day, to experience nachas and joy that cannot be described in words. And it was Hashem who brought her to this point.

May you be able to continue trusting in and holding on to Hashem no matter what He throws your way and may He surprise you with brachos and yeshuos beyond your wildest dreams!

20 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great lesson! I think everyone feels "stuck" at some level, at some point in their lives. But we have to know that Hashem is the only savior we have. We have to show Hashem that we truly believe that. We have to believe fully in our hearts that no person or anything else can save us from what we are going through, and that it what He wants from us. He wants us to rely on Him, and only Him.

    Devo, you brought out such a beautiful lesson from the Parsha! It's so important that while in the "dark" we realize that Hashem can give us anything, he's limitless! It's important to instill that in our hearts till it becomes real to us. May we all experience His yeshuos b'karov!

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    1. Yes, it is so important to remember that Hashem is unlimited and He can do anything. It's that thought that brings so much comfort and hope and helps us pull through the dark times!
      A big Amen to your bracha!

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  2. Beautiful lesson. Thank you.

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  3. Wow. Thank you! Such a beautiful and powerful lesson.

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    1. Thank you-I thought you'd appreciate this message. :)

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  4. Amen and thanx so much!! So Powerful!! It's so true- i like how u worte that Hashem does'nt need ideas from us how to change things for the better. It's so true! Hashem knows exactly what a person is going thru, and he wants a person to REALLY open up their heart and connect to him as much as they can. and to realize, that it is coming from Hashem and just like he put a person in the situation, he can take a person completely out of the situation. It's gets hard when a person, does'nt see the light, but no tefillah is left unanswered. A person should not give up. never. Continue davening, and connecting to hashem. That is what hashem wants, He wants to hear from the person, he wants the connection!

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    1. I'm happy this post spoke to you and you got chizuk from this message.

      You're right that we should keep davening and never ever give up...because Hashem can do anything. There's so much depth to the concept of tefillah...and I hope to make a post out of it one day. It's not just about davening for our situation to change, tefillah is meant to change US and make us into better people, stronger in our belief in Hashem and in His abilities.

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  5. just what i needed to hear! thank you so much for being the messenger!

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    1. I'm happy this was just what you needed to hear right now. Thank you!

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  6. I am the anonymous from above.

    I was just wondering...what about the single girl who never ends up getting married? Or the couple who never ends up having kids? Or the sick child who dies? Sometimes we are NOT taken out of the situation - as much as we daven. I know that this was His plan and this is what was best for them, whether we understand it or not. But...don't you sometimes wish you could get a glimpse of what the plan is? When you're in a lot of pain, don't you ever wish you could understand why?

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    1. My initial reaction to your question was...OF COURSE I wish I could get a glimpse, understand the plan and the reasons for why I go through pain. But after giving it some thought, I changed my mind. Now, before you jump and say I'm crazy, let me try to explain.

      Imagine if we did understand. If we knew why things had to happen...which things in our lives would change and which things wouldn't. We'd give up before we even bothered trying!

      If the single girl knew she'd never marry, would she go to shadchanim-ever? Would she-could she-live her life accepting her fate with happiness?
      And what about her single friend who should have married a guy she dated? That may never have happened-because she would never bother going on dates.
      There are so many intricacies to the "plan"; it's impossible to understand it. But more than that, understanding it and getting a peek into the future would ruin the way things can play out...and our bechira would be crippled--because our actions, based on the choices we'd make, would be so different.

      If the couple who never ended up having children knew their fate was sealed when they first got married...or even ten years into their marriage, how much would they have tried? How would they find the strength to pull through each day, each month, each year?
      And...what about the people they were meant to connect with along their journey, those they would be able to give chizuk to because they were the only ones who were able to understand? Those who did end up having children...but needed them there until they became parents-however long and painful that part of their journey was?
      And...if they knew nothing would change, would they bother going to the top doctors...who may not have been able to help them but would discover something that helped countless of other couples become parents-all because of them?

      If the cancer patient knew she wouldn't make it, would she spend her time in the ward cheering up other patients and being kind to the nurses or would she faster fall into a pit of depression and despair?
      If she knew how much time she had left...would she make the most of it or would she give up trying? Trying to find a better doctor, trying to fight the pain/side effects of her medication, trying to pull through yet another day of treatments...? Would she?

      So...although at first I'd think that I would want to understand the why's, I now see how impossible that would be...how much I'd have to be privy to in order to be able to get a glimpse into the bigger picture. But...maybe somewhere inside me I still wish I could understand. My head knows I can't but my heart can still wish... :)

      I hope you were able to read through this long answer. I could've tried making it shorter, but I have a hard time with that...

      Thank you for your questions. I love them. They give my brain some much needed mental and spiritual exercise.

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    2. And there's even more to explain. But I'll leave it at that for now. If you want to hear more of it, let me know.

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    3. I don't think that's what I meant. I don't think I'd want to know His plans for my life. I can understand exactly what you're saying. I meant...when I'm in pain and I'm davening for something specific...you said that even when it seems like He's not answering, He can give us what we are davening for - even more than what we expect or can imagine. So...I sometimes wish I could know...when I'm davening for that one thing...when it seems like He's not answering...is He waiting to fulfill my wish beyond my wildest dreams?

      Thank you for answering my questions so patiently. Thank you for making me feel that I can ask. I appreciate your taking so much time for me. Of course I'd want to hear more.

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    4. Anon-But...it's the same thing!
      You're phrasing your question differently but in essence what is the difference? No, you don't want to know His plan for your life-so do you mean that for the bigger things? Because...when you're in it, it sounds like you do want to know how this will play out for you in the future. (Me too!) When you're davening for something specific, of course you can wish, of course you want to know if He's waiting to fulfill your request in a way so much different and so much better than you could ever imagine. But I was just trying to explain why it's impossible to understand, using the examples you gave in your question.

      Maybe I'm missing something...but to me it sounds like you're asking the same thing using different words. What changed between your first question and your second?

      And there's more...more that I could have said before.

      What about the change and growth that comes from going through deep pain and challenging times? If we were able to peek into the future or get a glimpse into the plan, if we could understand the reason for our pain, would we bother trying to dig deep inside ourselves to work on things or would we never bother changing? Would we shrug our shoulders and accept the pain? Or would we lift ourselves up to better places, becoming stronger and improving our character, our middos and our relationship...with Hashem and with those around us?

      (Sorry this comment is so late. I typed it up a while ago but my blog took a seat on the back burner when things got really busy on my end...)

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    5. It's been so long, I'm not sure I remember what I meant!

      I think there's a difference. Let me try to explain. If I am in a difficult situation, I understand that it doesn't make sense for me to want to know how it will turn out at the end. But I would want to know that Hashem will take me out of this situation - in whichever way that happens - that my prayers will be fulfilled and things will be okay, even if I have no idea what exactly will happen, or how - (rather than my prayers being taken to save some people in Zimbabwe from an earthquake). I guess I just want to know that there will be a 'happily ever after'.

      When I read a book, the minute things start becoming suspenseful, I flip to the back. I don't want to read exactly what happens in the end, because that would spoil the whole book for me. I just check to make sure everyone is alive and well in the last chapter. Then I can enjoy the book.

      I guess that's what I want. Unrealistic...I know...

      I totally agree with the last thing you said - about the change and growth that comes from pain. I wouldn't give that up.

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    6. It's almost the same thing. But...I think I understand what you're saying. You want to know that there will be a happily ever after, even of you don't know how that will play out or the details of the plan. You want to know that there will be a good resolution, that whatever specific things you are praying for will be fulfilled.

      I explained why that can't really work though. There's so much inner change that can come through pain and having that little measure of (what I would call) prophesy) would change the whole way we dealt with things. We wouldn't work as hard and we'd probably just shrug our shoulders and wait for the happily ever after to play out in front of our eyes...and it obviously can't work that way.

      But...you can still wish. :) (Don't we all?)

      Oiy...I would never be able to read a book that way! It ruins the whole heart-pounding experience while you are "in" the book! But anyway, I have no time for long reads these days so I just stick to articles and short stories. :-)

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    7. Exactly!

      I know it can't really work. It's wishful thinking...I know that...

      Best way to read a book. The heart-pounding is still there. And you don't know exactly how things will turn out - you just know it'll be okay at the end (which you kinda know anyway with Jewish books...).

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  7. Michal (the same one as before)January 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Anonymous--In a way, you can be sure He will fulfill your wildest dreams. You can't be sure at all, though, that He will do this in your lifetime. Could be that whatever suffering you are undergoing now will inspire your children. Or co-workers. Or anyone else who hears that you suffered. Or maybe not--but it's a possibility.

    Hashem does things for many reasons--Middah K'neged Middah, Din, Rachamim, etc. We definitely can't know which is for what. But we do know that it is ultimately for our benefit.

    Thank you so much, Devorah, for an inspiring post. Reading this blog gives me a ton of chizuk and I hope by commenting I can give others additional chizuk, b'ezras Hashem

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    1. Michal-(I think we know who you are by now. :) Thank you for giving yourself a name!)
      I'm not sure how you can say that...because every person has different dreams and if it's something they want now, it doesn't help if you talk about different lifetimes. Sometimes people can wait a little bit for their dreams to take shape and for Hashem to orchestrate it but...in another lifetime? How does that help me go through whatever I'm experiencing now?? And if you are using those examples in my post-people struggling with real life challenges (shidduchim, children, finances, illness)...how can they hear about changes in another lifetime?

      I'm sorry, I'm just trying to understand the chizuk behind what you said...and it's not talking to me. :) Can you clarify?

      You are right, everything Hashem does is for our ultimate benefit. It just takes time to drill it into our heads and let it travel alll the way to our hearts...and that when we go through something painful, no matter how much it hurts and how much the pain comes back again, it is for the good.

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