WHAT DO TIMES OF CRISIS SHOW US? WHAT WE’RE CAPABLE OF!
Have you ever wondered what your own “40 years in the desert” would look like?
This week, as we delve into the 4th book of Moses we are exploring those essential yet difficult life challenges each of us face while relating it to the most fundamental of them all – that of the Israelites necessary but gruelling four decade walk in the desert.
In Hebrew, this powerful book is called “Bamidbar”, which means desert, while in English this book is named “Numbers”.
So, before we dive into the key messaging of this book, it’s important to ask some of the big questions – such as: why did the sages call this book Bamidbar? What does the desert really mean? And finally, why did the Israelites have to walk in the desert in the first place? The book of Zohar raises this question and challenges us to ask: Why couldn’t the Israelites take a few days and simply meander through Egypt and the Gaza before arriving at the land of Canaan, which is Israel?
If you believe they were being punished for not believing in God, then ask yourself?
Why didn’t God give them the ability to believe and then take them to Israel and give them the Torah there?
The answer can be found through Jeremiah , who told the Israelites that God was rewarding them by saying: “I recall for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials, your following me into the wilderness, into an unsown land”.
This incredible act of faith and promise lead the Israelites into the same desert for 40 years and from this powerful act we learned one of the greatest lessons of the book of Bamidbar: Sometimes in life you will be put into the desert. Sometimes in life you’ll also find yourself in a deserted situation born from business woes, loss of money, relationship breakdown or even betrayal.
As we navigate these tumultuous life challenges, the question we can ask is why God placed this hurdle on our journey? Is there something we can learn from this situation? Is there a benefit at the end of the road? Regardless of the result, the hurdle is there to challenge how we handle it. How do you react the moment there is a desert situation in your life? What do you need to do?
The answer my dear friends is yet another question. Do you believe in your capability? You can’t say you believe in your own capability when everything is going according to plan. It’s when life throws you a curve ball, that you test your limits and discover what you’re ultimately made of. If your relationship is seamless then your relationship capability is not being tested. Only during those tough times and during periods of turmoil can you gain the opportunity to rise above and overcome problems to build a stronger and more resilient partnership. This philosophy also translates to the business world. When the chips are down or you suddenly lose a lot of money, that’s the moment your business acumen and strength is tested.
The solution for all of this – as we read the book of Bamidbar – is to look at our inner self-confidence. You can’t develop self-confidence according to the results of your life. You can only develop it when you overcome something that you didn’t believe was possible.
Throughout the entire book of Bamidbar, we see that Moses was forced to deal with incredible challenges no other leader had faced. Whether it was the spies, or the people who challenged his leadership like Korach, or the death of the head of the tribe of Shimon in the portion of Pinchas – these moments all combined to challenge Moses and equip him with the tools to become a true leader to his people. When you read this book you have the potential to become a leader over your own life. So, no matter what challenges strike or what curveballs are hurled into your life, we each have the power to rise to the occasion, see it as an opportunity for growth and ask ourselves: Am I capable of overcoming whatever it is I need to overcome?
These challenges may need us to be smart, brave, or simply true to ourselves, but the bottom line is this: God doesn’t put something in your way that you can’t overcome. So before you run headfirst into a challenge, remember that the first hurdle is to love and appreciate yourself, and through that, you can start appreciating the Creator. By understanding this it will free you to deal with any challenge that comes your way, if you love yourself there is room to love others.
Your Weekly Inspiration
This week, we came together to further explore the fascinating book of Numbers and to discuss how great revelations occur during times of desperation. The current pandemic has been a great example of a time of crisis that (not unlike the desert) has been less about punishment and more about preparation to discover who we really are.
It has provided us with a unique opportunity to ask: what is it better to have? All the things that we think will fulfill us, or simply ourselves?
When we ask ourselves this most basic of questions, we also get the chance to put the magnifying glass on our spirituality and ponder whether we are focussed on merely fixing an aspect of our lives, or rediscovering and reconnecting to ourselves on the path to greater self-acceptance.
After all, when you are going through a tough time that is your own personal desert and the Divine is giving you a chance to rediscover yourself, it is up to you to decide which path to tread.
While we are on this most profound topic of challenges, it’s important to remember what builds pride. When you walk in the desert with nothing, this builds long-lasting pride and self-respect. It’s also at that moment that you’ll find your real personality. Within the nothingness, there is a blessing and the worst thing that can happen to you is not having to earn what you have.