Sometimes things get worse before they get better

By Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

SAN DIEGO–The bnai yisroel (children of Israel) were at their lowest point. After years of back breaking labor and cruel torment, Moshe had finally shown up as their redeemer. After Moshe went to Paroah, things got worse, not better. Paroah issued an order that the Jews now needed to gather their own straw to make their quota of bricks. This was a disheartening blow to the Jewish people. However, this was just the first step in a master plan of redemption. This seemingly devastating setback was a prelude to a miraculous salvation.

Here’s another example:

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for G-d to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, “God in Heaven! How could you do this to me?”

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! “How did you know I was here?” asked the weary man of his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.

The Moral of This Story: It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn’t lose heart, because G-d is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground. It just may be that smoke signal. It may just be the first step to your salvation.

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Rabbi Lederman is spiritual leader of Congregation Kehillas Torah in San Diego.  Your comment may be placed in the space provided below or sent directly to the author at [email protected]

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