By Dr. Zev Ballen
Hashem tests us in the darkness. He tests us in the places where we are unsure what the right course of action is. If you are sure that it is wrong to eat non-kosher food, Hashem is not likely to test you with food. If, however, you are still not sure whether it is wrong to punish your children, you can be sure that Hashem will test you in this area. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai and saw that the Jewish people were sinning he smashed the tablets - but G-d never told him to do that. How could Moses be sure that he was acting correctly? One second ago Moses received the Holy Torah from the Hand of G-d, and now he is taking it upon himself to shatter them without Hashem's permission? How could Moses do such a thing? Imagine the enormity of the consequences for the world and Moshe himself if he was making a mistake by breaking the Torah that G-d gave him.
This is where we all must stand - it's exactly where a parent is who is beginning to parent with emuna instead of power tactics will find herself. When you start trusting your children to Hashem, you will soon find yourself in situations where it will be difficult to abdicate your former parental role and just trust Hashem. So what do you do at that moment, on Shabbos or Yom Tov, when there is nobody to ask and you must decide?
This is the moment when you lift your eyes up to the Master of the World and say: "Hashem I trust You. I know that You are going to help me." This is the moment of total darkness when you demonstrate your complete confidence in Hashem even though you are blind and cannot see the path that He will take you on. You are counting on nothing but your Faith. As it says, "the Faith is in the night" (in the darkness). Just pray that Hashem will save you from the wrong decisions. Pray that He will help you and give you the wisdom to be a parent. "I'm choosing You, Hashem. I know that You will never leave me. It says "The person whose confidence is in Hashem, Grace will surround him." You will succeed for sure! If then the situation seems to be getting worse say: "Hashem I trusted You and everything is falling apart. What's going on here?" Then just hold on and stubbornly refuse to stop believing in the power of Hashem's deliverance even while you are falling. Hashem will never let you hit the ground. He will catch you and hold you securely. Inspired by Rav Dror Moshe Coussoto.
Wishing You Blessings Always,
Dr. Zev Ballen