Thursday, August 25, 2011

Testing Times

[Eleanor Roosevelt]

One of the basic teachings of the Torah is that G-d does not expect of a human being anything which is beyond the human capacity to carry out.  This is quite understandable, for even a human being, who is very far from absolute perfection, would not expect of a tool that he has fashioned any more than he has put into it.  Certainly G-d, the Creator of man, knows man's capacities.  

From this, it immediately follows that when a person faces any kind of a test of faith, it is certain that he has been given the capacity to overcome it.  And the more difficult the test, the greater are the individual's capacities.  

The reason that an individual is tested is not because G-d wants to know how he will acquit himself, but in order that this person be afforded the opportunity to realize his potential, even that which is unknown to him.  And when one's potential capacities are released, and activated, they become part and parcel of his or her arsenal, to be used for personal as well as communal benefit.

The stronger one's faith in G-d remains even under adverse circumstances, the sooner it will become clear it was all a matter of a testBut this faith should not be merely a matter of lip service, but must have the full force of conviction.

Some people are born with greater natural capacities, and consequently they are faced with greater challenges and trials.  Others are born with lesser capacities, and therefore the challenges and trials that G-d presents to them are also lesser, in keeping with their strength.... If you truly have great trials, this in itself is proof that you possess a great capacity and strength to overcome them.

When it is seen Above that one is strong in one's faith in G-d, and one rises in the general observance of Torah and mitzvos, the test is nullified and there is an increase in blessing, salvation and success.

Source: Excerpts from letters written by the Lubavitcher Rebbe.


Leah said...

Thank you for printing this. I went thru many tests in my younger days and could not appreciate them then, yet I actually learned to appreciate them later. Other people would say that they were amazed at these tests and that it will make me strong. I felt this way later on in life and thought that that was it.I had always wanted to finish school, yet it is so costly that I have always had to put it on hold.
In more recent times I mentioned to someone in my community that I help others with their issues in a particular capacity as a chesed. It turns out that this person is a Dr. and with the permission of the dept. of health opened a school to help train me to use my expereinces to help others.I was his first student. This doctor now runs a full fledged school and I am helping others as a trained certified person.
I KNOW see that I had to go thru what I went thru and that those experiences were my training in life in order to be able to get to a level in which to help others in a professional way. I see that this is one aspect of my life that I had to fulfill.
I believe that it is the level of difficulty and the life guidance of Hashem that has impacted me most. While I was experiencing my tests, I knew that Hashem was there, yet I did not know why He was testing me.
This has renewed and strengthened my emuna in Hashem. May we all have the strength and the ability to realize our abilities and strive to erach for them.

Devorah said...

We need more like you Leah. Very inspiring.

Anonymous said...

thanks devorah, its spiritually strengthening to read the words of the holy sages and esp the rebbe who lived during our times.