Sometimes everything looks just right. We want something so much, Hashem makes it possible and it looks like it will happen….but then at the last moment it doesn’t work out. Plans change. Things fall apart. Why? We feel disappointed, confused….why did Hashem help us , but then He changed the plan? How do we know what Hashem really wants?
I will give an example:
One time a mother of a religious family wanted very badly to spend Tishrei with her children in New York. Her husband did not want to go that year. There were several family members of his that he did not want to see or feel an obligation to go visit. He had various emotional and family situations he could not deal with. Physically he was not feeling so well and he did not want to take the trip and be under so much pressure. But he also did not want to disappoint his wife and children. So against his better judgment the family planned the trip to NY to spend Tishrei with their children and grandchildren. At first they could not find an apartment to rent. Finally they managed, with miracles, to find two suites left in the kosher hotel there. So they reserved, very happy to see that Hashem was helping them go through with their wishes. It made them feel more confident they were making the right decision.
But that night the husband started to not feel well. He was suffering from severe symptoms where his atrial fibrillation started up, he could not breath, had extreme anxiety, felt dizzy and he became very weak. So he decided there was no way he could go to New York. He simply could not go through with it. He canceled the reservation and the family realized that number one priority was health.
Were his wife and children disappointed? Yes, to some degree. But they also understood the situation and realized they had to prioritize their lives. In fact, the wife later admitted she also had her concerns about the trip and felt maybe it would be too much for her husband and she was not at all sure it was the best idea.
So how should we analyze such a situation?
Well, Hashem is kind. He wants to help us fulfill our wishes and dreams. But sometimes doing so is not really what Hashem wants or what is best for us at the time. So Hashem gives us encouragement but then in a different way He causes us to change our plans, and yet not to feel so badly about it. If the family would not find a place to stay in NY, they would feel frustrated, angry and upset about not being able to do what they felt is good. But once they found a place to stay, yet then the father became ill….they realized it was not the right plan to go to NY at that time, but they also no longer feel resentful or angry. They realize Hashem was saving them and the aggravation would not be healthy for the father. It was too much stress for him . So they were then able to move on and make new plans with happiness, without resentment.
So we can see that Hashem is the best psychologist of all! We just have to know how to interpret His “advice” and guidance the right way. And to accept it with joy. Ultimately, it is all about what Hashem wants for us. We need to be happy with that and not think we have to pursue our own agendas first. Everyday in morning blessings we say “……Hamechin metzadei gaver” .This is a blessing acknowledging that Hashem guides the footsteps of a person. And if Hashem wants a person to go somewhere, He makes sure it happens. If He does not want (for reasons known only to Himself) then He finds (or creates) a way to change the situation and prevent it. And this is Divine Providence: Hashem directly intervening in our lives. And as we realize this, we come to notice many instances of Divine Providence and to be aware of how Hashem guides us and looks after us. This is a very good way to come closer to Hashem, to increase our trust in Hashem….. especially now in this month of Elul where we have to be introspective and fix whatever we did wrong in the past year, preparing for a good new year on Rosh Hashanah. May we all merit a ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetukah! A healthy, happy, prosperous new year.