When you don’t get what you pray for

When you don’t get what you pray for… B”H

By April Cobb

As we begin reading Parashat Va’etchanan, we see Moses’ great desire to go into the land with the people, not only just to see it, but to dwell there alongside the people that he had led through the wilderness. Although Moses’ desire was great, Hashem did not allow him to cross over the Jordan alongside the people.

As I read about Moses and how he is pleading with Hashem to go into the land, I can’t help but think of my own pleadings with Hashem. Just as with Moses, there are times in our life when we have a deep desire within ourselves for certain things to take place. We, like Moses, implore Hashem about these things. Sometimes, Hashem sees fit to allow the desire within our heart to come to pass, and sometimes he doesn’t. For those times that he doesn’t, it could be really frustrating and we could allow ourselves to get upset or angry because it is not happening just as we prayed for. Just because we think it is the best thing for us, doesn’t mean that it is the best thing for us at that particular time in our life.

“We need to know that even when it appears that Hashem is hurting us, in reality, He is only helping. All he wants is to act for our benefit, regardless of whether we understand how he is benefiting us.” –”Living Emunah” – Rabbi David Ashear

The story is told of a man who was waiting to board his flight from Eretz Yisrael when he felt hungry. He went to one of the shops near the gate, purchased a box of doughnuts, and returned to the gate. He put his bag in front of him on the floor, and then took a doughnut from the box, which was on the seat next to him. He then noticed that the man sitting two seats over, on the other side of the doughnuts, thrust his hand into the box and took a doughnut. The man couldn’t believe it. What chutzpah! But it didn’t stop there. The man continued helping himself, one doughnut at a time. And so this continued, with both men eating doughnuts until finally there was only one doughnut left. The other man took it, broke it into two pieces, took one piece for himself and left the other half.

The man could not believe his eyes. This was outrageous. How can someone steal someone else’s food so flagrantly?

He finally got on the plane, and when he got settled into his seat, he opened his bag to get something. He was shocked to see the full box of doughnuts that he had purchased, still unopened. It had seemed as though the man sitting next to him was taking, but in reality, he was giving.

It can seem that by not getting what we pray for, that Hashem is withholding something good from us. In reality, He only gives continuously. Hashem loves us more than we can ever imagine. We should always trust and know that Hashem allows all things into our life so that we may choose to draw ever closer to Him. Whatever life brings, may we all grow in our bitachon (trust) and emunah (confidence) in Hashem.

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