Sometimes it seems to us that life is nothing more than a never-ending series of misfortunes. We find ourselves looking and waiting for the next bad thing to happen to us. When the next one does come, we reinforce the thought within our minds that we knew something bad was coming. It is said that we find what we seek. If we look for the bad things that might happen to us, we will most definitely find them. Fortunately for us, the opposite of this is also true. When we look for the good, we will find it.
We must train ourselves to look for the good that is going on around us. It is there but sometimes it is hidden; just as HaShem is hidden in the world. He is hidden in the world but, He reveals Himself to those who seek Him. This sounds simple, but so many people have trouble with this. While I am no expert, I have tried to make a concerted effort to look for the good in everything. The principles of emunah teach us that all things come from HaShem. Even those things which seem bad to us, in the end, turn out to be for the very best.
You can change your life in an instant if you want to do it. Be warned, though, that it can change back in an instant if you don’t continue down the right path. The simple concept of looking for the good will always lead you to a good place. You may go through what you feel are some bad places along the way. But know that life is a path. Not every path is straight. Most are not. Some have holes in them. Others lead you up steep hills or down into deep ravines. You might be walking along a path and run right into a big spider web. Looking at life as a path lets you know that sometimes there will be unexpected things that happen suddenly. This is the guiding hand of HaShem leading to where you need to be. There are times when we start to get off the path. These are the times when He has to put something in the way to make us realize we are slipping. It is for our benefit even if we don’t think so. It could cost you your livelihood, a relationship, or even your health. But, if you stick with it, in the end, you will see that it was all for the best.
HaShem reveals things to us through realizations. These realizations can take many years before they come. Don’t worry if you don’t understand or can’t see why something is happening. Everything that happens in our lives is for a reason. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean anything. HaShem is not vindictive. He doesn’t cause us to go through rough times for no reason. Could a loving father do such a thing to his child? As a parent, I know this isn’t possible. Your father in heaven loves you. He doesn’t want you to get hurt. But, like children, sometimes we do wrong. He has to teach us the error of our ways. He has to correct us in order to bring us to repentance.
The idea of free will means that we make our own decisions. The decisions we make have ramifications in both our lives and the lives of those around us. A selfish person refuses to help those around them, even those people they know well. They will only help those from whom they can expect something in return. If a person goes through life and is selfish, no doubt HaShem will respond in some way so that the selfish person can realize they have done wrong. Such people can take years to finally realize what they have done.
Now think of that same selfish person and the people in his life. His children see his selfishness and have probably been on the receiving end of it. The child sees the example and has the opportunity to either follow in his father’s footsteps or go in the other direction. The child who sees his father’s selfishness and determines not to be that way but becomes a generous person receives the benefit of his father’s selfishness. You see, something good can come from something bad. It can go farther still. That generous child can actually be an example for his father. The father can see the benefit his generous child receives and change his ways. In the end, they can both become righteous men. But, it would not have happened if the father had not been selfish in the first place.
The things that HaShem does in our lives are often not even perceived by us. He remains hidden so that we can exercise our free will. Without free will, we are no better than robots. He wants us to choose life over death, good over evil, Him over us. When we do, the most amazing things can happen in our lives. We can attain the highest spiritual levels. This is far more important than those bad things that happen to us. A person who attains a high spiritual level knows that everything in their life will not be perfect according to their desires. We are not promised a perfect life. What is important is how we respond to the things we think are bad. The spiritual person knows to thank HaShem for His correction.
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