The devil’s in the details

It seems for quite some time now that even the simple things aren’t simple. Coincidental with the onset of Covid, or perhaps stealthily sneaking in even before then, life for so many of us has been more challenging than usual. I know I’ve talked about seasons in our lives, the good times and inevitable tough times, too. Yet this rather lengthy season has been different.

Many of the little day-to-day tasks we didn’t even have to think about have become exceptionally difficult, not to mention when we have events in our lives that would be hard anyway. Nothing seems easy any more, or at least many routines are not routine. My work life has been unusually stressful for multiple reasons for a number of months now, situations arising that I have never faced in 45 years of practice. My sister is selling her house and buying another with a scheduled closing next Tuesday. As of this writing we are still optimistic all will go through as hoped, and yet, it has seemed that every detail along the way has not been easy, causing the actual transactions to be in jeopardy. For many of us during these times, the details surrounding the larger issues have developed their own issues – inexplicable computer glitches, unusual actions, unpredictable reactions to normal situations, surprise outcomes, dropped calls, missing emails, missed emails, irritating details to further fan the disequilibrium. Even the historically usually peaceful transition of leadership of our presidency isn’t happening as it always has occurred.

Instead of people having the usual ups and downs and history repeating itself, in these times it seems nothing can be taken for granted as one might expect, or at least there are a disproportionate number of surprises along the way. To make it worse, even if something is going okay, there are often small details not going well that make the road to the good result tortuous.

So what’s a person to do? How do we deal with this “new normal”, for it has been this way for quite some time for many of us, and I don’t dismiss it as people are just more on edge these days. The details that are going awry are the same types of details that used to be predictable.

I personally don’t feel the coming of Covid and these seemingly unusually challenging times, down to the simple details of daily living in some cases, is a coincidence. Nor do I feel it just “feels” that way. Too many objective facts based on probabilities would say otherwise. Perhaps as we are forced to find new solutions to the same and new problems, as our eyes are opened to appreciate how easy certain situations were that we took for granted, we are being reminded that all that we were given, down to the minutest detail, were true gifts from God. When the easy life gets hard, and the harder it gets, the more we realize that the easy life we had, the successes, the fulfilled expectations, were not usual at all, but rather, were gift after gift.

I do believe in spiritual warfare in the sense that the evil one is out there just waiting for the opportunity to wreak fear and havoc in our lives. I don’t live in that space usually, but recently have been reminded of its existence more frequently so have increased my awareness and vigilance. Our society and we personally fend darkness off as we draw nearer to HaShem. So the irony of these days is as the evil one is doing his best to make many of our lives miserable, down to the micro level, those inexplicable hard times actually cause us to recognize how fragile our efforts if we forget to prioritize HaShem in our lives. The deeper our tsuris, the more we seek God, the more we are bolstered by our faith community, the more gratitude we have for Yeshua, the more we pray and see answered prayer, the more we draw even closer to HaShem. So actually the more micro the challenge, the greater the joy when the challenge is overcome, the greater the appreciation for the myriad of details that go right. Knowing how much can go wrong, we experience a new appreciation for the many things that go right!

I’m reading about the health challenges of Jeff Bridges who was diagnosed with lymphoma last October. Thankfully, the most recent news is his tumor is shrinking. Yet the road ahead is challenging and uncertain. In a recent interview he is upbeat, optimistic, transformed. His new mantra is “BE LOVE. He continues, “This cancer thing is bringing on feelings of preciousness, & gratitude, & good old fashion love, & lots of it, big time. I’m feeling so much of it comin’ my way, & man, I appreciate it. It’s contagious, all this love, like some kind of positive virus. . . “

Love that thought. . .

Clearly, when we change our perspective from our woes to the framework of being loved, and that love acknowledged to be straight from our Heavenly Father, when we feel carried in the arms of Yeshua, we know that all will be well. The deeper mired in the details, the more we seek His help, the clearer it becomes that these details are just that, infinitesimally small parts of such a larger, more glorious picture.

Work will calm down, houses will be bought and sold, changes of presidents will occur, the easy way or the hard way, but remembering who’s really in charge and that this too shall pass as it should in His time, not ours, brings us through in every detail.

Shabbat shalom.

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