There's a story about Eliyahu HaNavi. He appeared to one of the Rabbis, who spent the day with Eliyahu HaNavi. However, there was 1 condition: the Rabbi was not allowed to ask Eliyahu HaNavi any questions.
So, Eliyahu HaNavi knocked on the door of a very shabby house of an extremely poor family. An elderly couple with no children opened the door. They loved guests, and even though they had very little, their hospitality emulated Avraham and Sara’s hospitality.
They gave Eliyahu HaNavi and the Rabbi food, drink, and even their own beds. The old couple gladly slept on the floor – just so that their two guests could sleep comfortably!
In the middle of the night, the Rabbi heard Eliyahu HaNavi praying intently for this poor couple’s only cow to die.
WHAT?!! The Rabbi was shocked! This cow was the sole source of parnassah for this family. If the cow would die, they would barely have anything.
But…the Rabbi wasn’t allowed to ask questions. He kept his thoughts to himself, but this tefillah really perturbed him.
That morning, as Eliyahu HaNavi and the Rabbi were leaving, they heard a loud scream from the elderly couple’s house. The poor old lady ran outside crying and she screamed “our cow! Our only has cow died. What will we do, what will be??”
Eliyahu HaNavi saw that the Rabbi looked confused. “Do you know why I prayed for the cow to die?”
Because the Rabbi was a Tzaddik, Eliyahu HaNavi shared the reason with him.
“That old woman was supposed to die today. So I prayed for HaShem to take the cow’s life instead of her life. As a kapara.”
And suddenly, it became clear. It was a chessed.
If this woman knew that she was supposed to die, and the cow was taken instead, would she have been crying, worrying, and complaining? Of course not! She would be thanking HaShem all day long. She would be so happy that the cow died!
But she didn’t know.
And so too…we don’t always know the reason for “tragedies” or difficulties in our lives. Everything really is a chessed from HaShem, but we don’t always merit to know the reasons.
That’s where bitachon comes in the picture. Bitachon is that we have to KNOW that everything that happens to us is ultimately for our benefit. Every problem has a finish line. It’s happening to us for a reason, and somehow, it’s truly for our benefit.
Our challenges don’t always have to be so earth-shattering. Challenges also include daily life frustrations.
An example from my personal life…
I was really infatuated with this guy.
Mainly because he seemed so frum and wholesome.
My thoughts would sing "omgosh he’s sooo holy." He was (supposedly) a great learner and seemed so passionate and enthusiastic about Torah and mitzvot.
So, of course, I was interested.
You know, in the unhealthy obsessed type of way. (I seriously told my friend, with 82.7% certainty, "we're getting married. He doesn't know it yet. But we are.")
But just oneeee tiny drawback: he wasn't interested in me.
It kind of (read: extremely) hurt.
HaShem, how can this be for my benefit? Everything seems so wonderful about him. I don't get it.
I don't get it.
I. Don't. Get. It.
That is, I didn't get it.
And turns out...
he's not on the right derech right now.
While I hope he does teshuva and sees the right Jewish path (for his own sake), I'm so grateful.
HaShem knows what He's doing.
Just remember: what seems horrible today can end up being the biggest blessing later on.