Naomi was generally a happy, active woman who took care of her family and devoted time to help others as well. But the difficult period of separation from her spouse was taking its toll on her otherwise patient disposition.
One day she broke down in front of her best friend, Rachel. “I don’t know… I’m so unhappy,” she confided. “It seems like this is taking forever and we aren’t getting anywhere.”
Her sympathetic friend offered words of understanding and encouragement. “I don’t think anyone can understand exactly what you’re feeling, but your frustrations are understandable. It’s been such a long time since your separation began and I remember your optimistic hopes of finishing quickly and moving on to build a new life.”
“I just don’t see an end in sight,” Naomi admitted.
“I read something last night that applies to your situation,” Rachel said. “The Orchot Tzaddikim says (‘Shaar HaSimchah’) ‘One must know that there is a boundary and an end to all of his affairs and that no one can add or detract from what has been decreed by the Exalted Creator…No man can cause to come sooner what He has decreed to come later, nor to come later what He has decreed to come sooner…’ You may not feel you’re getting anywhere, but you get closer to the end of your troubles every single day.”
“Thanks,” Naomi replied. “I’ll try my best to make that thought my ‘patience builder’ through this difficult time.”
Difficult circumstances drag on much longer than anticipated. Financial problems, relationship conflicts or health issues may crawl towards resolution while the victim of these circumstances wears thin and begins to lose hope of any resolution.
One going through hard times must compare the situation to a train passing through a dark tunnel. Out the window the dark conceals the movement towards the end of the tunnel. One can be sure, however, that there is an end and one is moving in its direction.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
Ours is an age void of G-d awareness…which knows no shame. (Harav Mordechai Gifter, Torah Perspectives, pp. 31–2)