Coming back after being away for a while I was at a bit of a loss as to what to write about, soooo I figured why not just jump right into the deep end with something intense and thought provoking. Sounds logical, right?
This is a heavy topic and I’m actually excited to write about it. There are so many different schools of thought that can come into play and each person has their own take on it. I’ll be the first to say that my view is formed based on my beliefs and also based on my circumstances. They can sometimes contradict each other, but not if I can lay them out and explain them properly.
“It’s all from Hashem.” I have heard this phrase countless times in my life, but within these past two years in particular. Generally it’s followed up by a blessing that He should heal me completely and fully. I never turn down a blessing or a chance to say amen. People say things from the deep kindness of their hearts and it is a comfort for not only myself, but to them as well.
Yes, here comes a but;
What would happen if we started thinking about the fact that the same G-d we are asking to heal us is the same one that has given this ailment to begin with?
*For the record, I am in no way saying that I believe that G-d is vindictive or cruel. *
Yes, unfair things happen in life that we do not understand. Yes, bad things happen that we feel shouldn’t. At the same time, all of these things were created by the ultimate Creator for reasons we don’t know and may never get to understand.
My favorite blessing to receive is that of clarity. I love when I’m told that they hope everything is in clear and revealed manner. I have always felt like this one gave me something, some sort of comfort or agreement to it. We can ask for G-d to heal me until Moshiach comes (which obviously should be now), but He is still the one who ultimately decided that this was my test. But, clarity — that’s something I can work with. Maybe I will gain a better understanding of why I have to go through what I am. Maybe it will help me have clarity in my relationship with Hashem, or even just see life in a better way.
There is a part of me that cringes at the well meaning blessing of having a complete and total refuah sheliema– healing. I will always say a grateful “amen” to it; but the side of me that is more logical than spiritual, more science and numbers than faith based, actually hurts when such a blessing is given. My brain screams, “Don’t they know that there is not going to be a good outcome to this!? Don’t they know that every blessing like that reminds me just how ill I am?!” Yet, I will still take every blessing with an open heart and with gratitude, because maybe… just maybe, G-d will hear it.
Call me a realist, call me cynical, I would even say apikores (heretic) isn’t a far stretch either. Being that I am this faith driven woman in pretty much aspect of my life, and if it was anyone aside from myself, I would cling to the idea of there being a refuah sheliema. I have never understood why I can’t channel that same thought inward for my own sake.
I look at the statistics, I listen to my doctors, I read way too many articles, and I know the way this story ends. Maybe the idea of Hashem being in total control scares me, because it reminds me that I have no control and neither do the doctors or medications.
I think I can say that I’ve accepted the hand that I’ve been dealt, or accepted it as much as one can. I went through my stages of grief, and trust me when I say that I bargained, a lot. If I do more this, if I take on that, He was going to make everything better. It was only after months of repeat disappointment that the notion of acceptance hit me.
Most people don’t believe that way. We should always fight for what we want, we should pray and plead, tell Hashem that we need His divine help. Beseech Him. For me, I became tired, and when the exhaustion hit, my ideology fell into place:
I am sick. I am sick, because for whatever reason G-d found that this was the type of test I needed to work with in my life. If I believe that all things come from the One Above, why would that change when it comes the difficult things? Did He not give me this ailment, just as He gave me life and an abundance of goodness?
I am not content with my diagnosis or prognosis, but I have found contentment in the fact G-d knows what He’s doing and for whatever reason He’s doing it.
My suggestion for anyone facing a hard time is to try praying for clarity. Better yet, pray for my second favorite thing: a menuchas h’nefesh– that the soul should have peace and rest.
I happen to think that those prayers are the most important and profound prayers one could speak. There is nothing more comforting than the ability to take a deep breath and lean into the knowledge that you’re being taken care of. Having clarity, having a soul that is content, those are the things I pray for, for myself and everyone.
We may never know, we may never understand, but we should always have the clarity to see that it’s from G-d, who cares about us more than we know. And G-d, our Father in Heaven, created the cure long before He created the illness.
We just need clarity and peace, the rest will unfold as He wills it.
It’s all from Hashem, the good, the bad, and the mundane.