“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to replace my store,” Mr. Haims moaned, surveying the damage. “This is the worst thing that could happen!”
Mr. Feldman responded thoughtfully. “We’re taught that everything’s for the best, so don’t make hasty value judgments,” he said. “You never know what’ll develop.”
“That’s easy for you to say!” said Mr. Haims. “You’ve still got a weekly paycheck and a predictable future!”
“All I’m saying, my friend, is that you don’t know what’s going to transpire in the long run. Trust and patience will serve you well at this point in time.”
Harav Yechezkel Levenstein said: “No person can know what’s really good for him in the long run” (Ohr Yechezkel, Michtavim, pp. 267–8). People assume that what has happened to them in the past is bad, or what might happen in the future will be bad, and they become anxious and worried. Despair arises from uncertainty. A feeling of being at the mercy of uncontrollable events creates concerns which may or may not be justifiable.
But the assumption that the present situation is bad and getting worse is wrong. One can never know in advance what the future will bring. Being fired from a job, evicted from a business location or home, or suffering financial loss can possibly result in an improved situation long-term.
A man was forced to vacate a lucrative business and, for lack of a better opportunity, joined his son’s company as a minor partner. The location was close to home and the pressures substantially less. The shorter commute afforded more leisure time and the five-day workweek replaced the six-day schedule. The profits were much larger, too.
In the long run, today’s tale of disaster may be tomorrow’s success story.
One More Second: Another Thought for the Day
In reality, Moshe knew that he was an outstanding person… But he remained humble by comparing himself to G-d, Who would always be infinitely greater… The ministering angels expressed even greater humility than Moshe because of their proximity to G-d. The higher the being, the greater the level of humility… Moshe was thus able to remain humble by keeping the majesty of G-d constantly on his mind. (Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Shem MiShmuel, p. 239)
Rabbi Raymond Beyda serves in the Sephardic Community in Brooklyn, N.Y. He lectures to audiences all over the world. He has distributed over 500,000 recorded lessons free of charge.