Yael Eckstein | August 23, 2023
But he knows the way that I take;
when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. — Job 23:10
Miracles are central to both the Jewish and Christian faiths, and both biblical narratives are replete with miracles. Enjoy this collection of devotional teachings on the nature of God’s awe-inspiring signs and wonders.
My friend’s child struggles with phobias that make it difficult for her to function normally in the world. From a very young age, the family invested endless time, money, and energy to give their daughter the tools she would need to succeed.
Thankfully, she has not only overcome her fears, but through her hard work, she has developed an extremely high level of emotional intelligence and self-knowledge. “I wouldn’t wish this challenge on anyone,” her mother once said to me, “but these struggles have made her an extraordinary person.”
Most of us are not seeking out hardships, but the Jewish sages suggest that life’s challenges are actually God-given tests designed to help us grow into the best versions of ourselves.
In the book of Job, we read, “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” We are all born with great potential, but sometimes, it takes a test to bring it into fruition. If we are willing to rise to the challenge, we will emerge greater than before.
In Hebrew, the word for test—nisayon—is rooted in the word nes, which has two different meanings. Firstly, nes is a “banner.” Just as a banner is held high to relay a message, tests proudly display our unique abilities and qualities. Challenges take the hidden treasures buried inside us and raise them, reminding us how brave, strong, and capable we truly are.
A nes is also a “miracle.” While it may seem counterintuitive, miracles and challenges have a lot in common. Just like miracles happen when God intervenes with the natural way of the world so that something amazing can happen, so, too, when God gets involved to give us tailor-made tests designed to meet our spiritual needs, amazing things happen.
We may not enjoy them as much, but that doesn’t mean they are any less miraculous. And like Job says, when we pass our tests, we don’t just win the gold; we become gold.
Next time you are faced with hardship, remember that God is sending this test your way with love, and embrace the opportunity for growth.