I was talking to a soldier yesterday who is training for military exercises. Although he spent many years in the army and is in a top unit, the reality is that each time he goes back to ‘regular life’ you lose your sharpness, stamina and more and must get back up to scratch before actively serving again.
We tend to think of belief in God as something that you either have or lack. In reality, Judaism recognises that it is neither black and white, nor outside of our control. Noach is referred to as מאמין ואינו מאמין – both believing and not believing that Hashem would bring a flood.
Ironically, whilst the events of the past few days in Israel may test our faith and make us wonder where God’s protection was, it is these moments that have the greatest power for us to grow our “faith muscles”. When we pray in the face of our struggles, when we push ourselves to search for answers despite our difficulties in finding them, when we tell ourselves that Hashem will be there, we are building our reserves of Emunah and strengthening those muscles.
A relationship with God does not fall from the sky – it is built and nurtured, often in moments of great challenge.