30 Nissan 5781 / Monday, April 12, 2021 | Torah Reading: Tazria - Metzora
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Why can't we just live a normal, calm life? Why do so many things in life catch us off balance, like the proverbial GPS that informs us that our route is being recalculated?


Why can't we just live a normal, calm life? Why do so many things in life catch us off balance, like the proverbial GPS that informs us that our route is being recalculated?


Life's trials and difficulties frequently catch us unprepared and off-guard, often delaying or totally altering our personal plans. Since people are incognizant of their individual tikkun, or soul correction, life's difficulties are liable to knock them down and give them the false impression that their lives are ruined. Yet, whenever we rely on the emuna that all the events of our lives are not random, but the result of Hashem's Divine Providence and personal supervision of our lives, we maintain a clear and optimistic outlook no matter how hard we're being tested.


With emuna, we might be knocked down, but we don't stay down for long. We realize that Hashem is doing everything for our benefit, to enable and facilitate our developing a closer and more meaningful relationship with Him.


If we must endure life's surprises - the tests of unavoidable tough times - then we might as well accept them with the emuna that everything is for the best. Emuna enables us to be happy and to understand Hashem's individual message for each of us.


Even when a person doesn't succeed in grasping Hashem's message, he or she should accept their current circumstance happily, for such acceptance in itself is lofty service of Hashem. The Code of Jewish Law states (Shulchan Aruch, O.H. 222:3): "A person is obligated to make a blessing on the bad sincerely and willfully, in the same manner that he makes a blessing on the good, since for servants of Hashem, the 'bad' is for their benefit and joy, to enable them to accept with love anything that Hashem decrees. Consequently, by accepting the bad, one happily serves Hashem."


We'd prefer not to be unpleasantly surprised by anything, but we can't hide from life's difficulties. No one asks us whether we're prepared to undergo trials and tribulations – they pop-up in our lives whether we want them or not. But, we do have the free choice of how we'll cope with difficult situations. Happy is the person that accepts life's trying times with emuna, that they are all for the best; such a positive outlook assures that the tough situation will soon reverse itself. Without emuna, a person is bitter, broken in spirit, disgruntled, and virtually defeated. Bitterness and dark moods are a magnet for additional troubles, Heaven forbid.


The only true tribulations in the world are when a person lacks emuna. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev writes (Likutei Moharan I: 250), "Know that all types of sorrow and tribulations all stem from a lack of spiritual awareness. For a person who has spiritual awareness and knows that everything in life is the result of Divine providence, he has no tribulations and feels no sorrow." As long as a person clings to the emuna that everything is for the best, and he thanks Hashem for everything, even for that which seems unfavorable, joy overflows within him. Then, everything turns around for the best. Consequently, the only punishment that there is in this world is when a person loses emuna.


Therefore, as soon as a person feels negativity in the slightest, he should ask Hashem to restore him with the emuna that everything is for the best. He should begin thanking Hashem for everything, even if he doesn't yet sincerely feel that it's for the best. The very gratitude that he expresses opens a portal to renewed emuna, and that will bring him to true inner happiness. Wait and see how life's unpleasant surprises turn around for the very best – just hold on with emuna.

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