click here to jump to start of article
  • Torah Reading: Naso
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​

Don’t Wait for Miracles

Don’t Wait for Miracles

Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom in order to start climbing up.


There I was on Rosh Hashana, standing before God praying for good health and the ability to change. But I was a passive participant, convinced I had nothing to do with my weight continuing to climb upward and my physical health gradually declining over the course of the previous year.

I was feeling miserable and by the time Sukkot came, I had developed a pre-ulcer condition and couldn't hold much in my stomach. I finally began to listen to God's loud and clear message: I had to take control of my eating and my health.

I came to understand that if I really wanted what I was praying for, then I had to start making it happen. Real change is up to us; it doesn't happen passively.

Our daily lives are filled with a stream of passing desires. But how many of these desires do we want so strongly that we prepared to do whatever it takes to attain them?

How badly do you want to attain that goal?

It's a good thing God doesn’t give us everything we pray for. If He did, our lives would be an unmitigated disaster. When my two year old granddaughter asks for her tenth piece of candy in 15 minutes, am I really showing her my love by giving it to her? Miracles can happen for people who prove they really want it, and are willing to put in the necessary work to get it.

In Genesis, when God says “Let us make man,” He was showing that our creation is a joint effort. We cannot expect God to hand us this change on a silver platter. He wants us join in the process of our own creation. He wants us to be active, not passive participants in our own lives.

We have to plan for our change, and we have to work for our change. When we stand before God on the High Holidays begging for life, we have to know what we are planning to do to accomplish this goal. We have to know what we are willing to give up to accomplish this goal. Our thoughts have to translate into action, not empty promises.

Humility before God

In the Overeaters Anonymous12-step program, the first step is: We admitted that we were powerless over food, that our lives had become unmanageable.

The second step is: We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Ironically, one of the key steps to change is recognizing our limitations and ultimate inability to change on our own. Today’s culture wants to believe that we are all autonomous, that we've got the power. But the reality is different. We need to inculcate the trait of humility before a higher power.

Recognizing that God is the ultimate power, while simultaneously fulfilling our responsibility and doing everything we can to change, creates the space to receive the Almighty's help.

And that humility allows us to reach out for help from others. We are all so wrapped up in what we are doing that it is hard for us to see our own reality. It's much easier to see our friends' mistakes than seeing our own. If a casual friend can help us, how much more so, an expert in the field.

When we are willing to submit to wisdom greater then our own we can grow beyond our wildest dreams.

With God’s help, my physical problems have been reversed due to losing over 75 pounds. Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it to! Now when I pray for good health, I know that I am working together with God to make it happen. I am no longer waiting for some nameless miracle to happen. I know I mean it and truly want it.

August 28, 2010

Give Tzedakah! Help create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.
The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 8

(8) Judith, September 3, 2010 4:16 PM

Just the Opposite

The author says, "Today’s culture wants to believe that we are all autonomous, that we've got the power." I disagree. I think it's just the opposite. Today's culture wants to believe that we're powerless. It's not our fault. It's my genes. It's how I was raised. It's a fluke. It's an "act of G-d". Anything but my responsibility.

(7) deborah fucs, September 3, 2010 12:29 PM

You are wrong M.Nancy,I m sorry.

Baruch Hashem ,I can always have the EMUNA,that God will do miracles for me.And not just expect that, but keeping them organized one by one in my mind.Thank you my Lord,for taking care of me and my life,safeguard, whith your holy mitzvos.

(6) Anonymous, September 3, 2010 5:15 AM

Thank you for your service. Great outreach!

(5) Yocheved Golani, September 3, 2010 3:16 AM

Don't Close the Door on GOD

My books about how to cope with medical crises teach readers how to overcome the emotions of despair, fear, anger - just name the emotion - that we mortals tend to feel when sick or troubled. There's an entire section on how not to close the door on GOD but rather to invite Av HaRachamim into our complicated lives so He can heal them and us. Medical and mental health professionals endorse the first edition and its sequel. See

(4) Steve Lurie, September 2, 2010 5:25 PM

A man lived in a flood plain and after a week's worth of rain the flooding began and the dam 1/2 mile away was getting ready to burst. As the water covered the man's first floor of his home, a man in a boat came by and yelled for him to "save yourself, get in the boat". The man replied: "I have been a religious man my whole life and I know that G-d will take care of me. Thanks but no thanks for the boat ride". 2 days later the water is up to the 2nd floor of his home and the man is on his roof when another boat comes by. The man in the boat yells: "Save yourself, get in the boat!" The man again says thanks but "I have been a religious man my whole life, following G-d's teachings and G-d will save me, so thanks but no thanks". 3 days later the water is over his roof and the man is holding on to his chimney when a helicopter hovers overhead and a man on the helicopter yells "Grab the rope and we will pull you up". Once again the man says that he has lived his life in keeping with all of G-d's teachings and G-d will save him. He passes on the help from the helicopter. The next day the dam bursts and his home is washed away and takes his life. When he arrives in heaven he goes to G-d and says: "I have believed in you my whole life, following your teachings, why have you abandoned me in my time of need?" The lord replies: "Abandoned you? My son.....I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter!"

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.

  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment