This is the week of faith, of holding on despite things not working out as promised. Moshe in last week’s Parsha was sent on a mission to rescue the Jews. He was given spectacular signs to show off to gain credibility. And, yet, his mission didn’t meet success. In fact, it seemed to make things way worse.
When you think you can help a situation, and then, through trying to help, you make things go awry, it isn’t a good feeling. Moshe goes back to Hakadosh Baruch Hu with complaints, “How could You do that to me, G-d. If you wanted to make the Jews suffer more, why did you have me be the catalyst for it.”
In this week’s Torah portion we begin with G-d’s response to Moshe’s bitter accusation, “Va’ayra – and I appeared…” Instead of giving a direct response, G-d tells Moshe of the forefathers and how G-d had given them prophetic visions of glory but then had given them hard lives. We are told that G-d said, ‘alas, for what is lost – I don’t have such believers in the world who believe with the same measure of total faith and trust as the previous generations.”
How is that a response to Moshe? True story. Of an amazing young woman whose father was in a horrific car accident. This father had not had an easy life. A war survivor he was also a domestic dysfunction survivor, having weathered a difficult marriage before ultimately restarting life with a stable woman. As this young woman juggled hospitals, doctors and rehab centers and as she watched her father in pain, she finally burned out one day and blurted out to him, “I don’t understand. How do you still have faith? How am I supposed to have faith? How do I do it?”
Her father looked at her and said, “First, you must answer do you really WANT to have faith.”
Startled she was forced to think, and finally responded, “Yes!”
That, my friend is the first step, to know you want to trust this relationship with G-d.
Then, her father continued, “After knowing you want it, then it is all about TRAINING.”
Then, sometime thereafter, while at work, she was told there had been a break-in to a car in the parking lot and her coworkers thought it might be her car affected. She went down to check it out and came back with a huge smile on her face. Her boss commented, “ah, so I see it wasn’t your car, because you are smiling.”
And she responded, grin still in place, “Actually it was my car.”
Said her boss, “TRAINING! You have good training.”
At that, her grin got wiped off her face, because G-d had given her confirmation of her father’s words. It is about training ourselves beyond the moment of pain and trusting there is a greater plan than we can fathom.
That is what G-d told Moshe the forefathers were able to do. Understand that a whole history has to unfold, that life ain’t about instant results. Fathom there is more than what we see happening. Trusting in G-d requires a will to trust Him, training to keep our faith in place during the hard times and patience to let life unfold at the pace of G-d’s plan. You can’t microwave the future to have it cook any faster.
and a link to another version of this thought…