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Obstacles - what do they mean?



What the Rav said:


Every obstacle that a person faces, it’s always for the benefit of that person.


A person needs to accept with love all the obstacles that he faces.


Every obstacle a person faces, he must accept with love.


And, on every obstacle, a person needs to know that Hashem wants it that way.


Every obstacle is given to a person, only to increase his reward.


My thoughts:


This piece from the Rav brings to mind a conundrum which I haven’t yet had the merit to solve, and perhaps never will.


It seems to me that there are times when Hashem gives us obstacles so that we make more effort, we push through and overcome. And, like the Rav says here, Hashem gives us greater reward for our efforts in overcoming the obstacles.


However, there are other times (I think) when Hashem is giving us a message that this course of action is not a good idea, it’s not going to work, it’s not going to be good for you.


Further, even if this course of action is good, perhaps now is not the right time – Rabbenu has also taught us of the danger of ‘forcing the hour’.


So, my million-shekel question is how do we know? When we face an obstacle – how do I know when Hashem is trying to tell me that this is not a good idea, or when He is saying ‘strengthen yourself, push through and overcome it’?


I don’t know. If you have an answer, I’d love to hear it.

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