“And the LORD said to him: ‘What is that in your hand?’ And he said: ‘A rod.’“ (Shemos 4:2)
Many times people feel they have such a great ability to do something, almost to the point that davening to Hashem for help may seem like an afterthought. Only when the job is something which is seemingly beyond their scope do they then remember that Hashem is the one in control and only with His help can one succeed. Our job is to always remember that success is only with Hashem’s help.
The Hafla’a in The Panim Yafos asks a question on Moshe Rabbeinu: Chovos Halevavos teaches us that a person who has true faith in Hashem has no reason to fear anything. Even if one were to find oneself in a jungle with lions, tigers and bears about, if he truly believes that he cannot be hurt by something without permission from Hashem, there is nothing with which to be concerned. Even if that is so, he asks “When Moshe Rabbeinu threw down his staff in the presence of Hashem, it became a serpent and Moshe jumped away. Why did Moshe seem to be afraid of this serpent?” While we may sometimes “forget” that Hashem is around and possibly could have such a lack of faith, how could Moshe Rabbeinu forget–especially when he was in conversation with Hashem Himself?
The Hafla’a answers this question with an important and well known idea. Given that Moshe Rabbeinu had achieved so much, he seemingly had things down pat and didn’t necessarily feel he still needed Hashem’s boost. What Hashem did was to remove the Hashgacha Pratis that Moshe normally had, which made Moshe feel insecure, which allowed him to be frightened of the snake. He continues to explain that the lesson that Hashem was teaching Moshe was, “you think that you can believe Me that a redemption will come and Bnei Yisrael doesn’t have the ability to believe. It is not in your ability to believe me either. Just as I helped you along, I will help Bnei Yisrael believe in the redemption and give them the courage and fortitude necessary to stand up to Pharaoh and Egypt.”
Many of us are confronted with issues and obligations which seem daunting. One may say “I just can’t do it!”. To these people, I say instead, “The things you think you can do, you also couldn’t do without Hashem’s help.” When one goes above and beyond towards holy causes, one receives extra Divine assistance.
I would like to share a story from the Ponevitcher Rav. When he built his yeshiva, he needed students, and he wasn’t able to fill the minimum quota. He found a yeshiva that had a good reputation among the students and made a proposal to the Rosh Yeshiva: “One day, my yeshiva will be very successful, and people will be pounding the doors down to get in. I guarantee you that whatever number of students you give me now, I will hold that number of places for your students every year in the future.” People looked at him cross-eyed and told him “it is not possible that you will be so successful.” He said back “with Divine help, miracles can happen.”
We don’t need miracles to happen every day in order to reaffirm our belief in Hashem. We already have Emunah. The story of the exodus from Egypt, which we are reading about now and that we celebrate at the seder, shows that we believe that the impossible dreams we have can come to fruition.