Conflict and opposition lifts up a person, just as floodwaters rise and lift up a tree which was lying on the ground. —Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
How is it possible that conflict and opposition can lift up one person when they seem to so easily crush another?
Why does one person grow spiritually from her struggles while another succumbs to despair, apathy, or worse?
What makes the difference?
Emuna. Faith and the firm belief that everything, absolutely everything, comes from God.
Emuna is the absolute belief that if my roof leaks, the rain and the clogged gutters are agents of Hashem. Emuna is the immediate, gut-response that says if a flood is washing over me, the natural forces of water and wind are agents of Hashem.
If I am insulted—the person doing the insulting is an agent of Hashem. If I am praised—the person doing the praising is an agent (admittedly a more easily-appreciated agent) of Hashem. If I lose a job, it’s Hashem. If I can’t find parking, Hashem.
When troubles mount, when the dam breaks (and for most of us, at least on the small scale, this occurs on occasion throughout our lives), we have the ability to choose how we respond. Respond for the good. Use the momentum of the current to lift yourself higher, closer to Hashem.