Do you REALLY Believe?
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Futerfass was imprisoned in Siberia for eight years. He went through unspeakable torment and suffering there, yet he came out so strong in his Emunah and religion. Throughout his stay, he was always hopeful that he would be released, and eventually he was.
He was asked how he stayed so strong for so long. He replied that he took a powerful lesson from a scene that he observed one day in Siberia.
"During a short break, one of the other inmates asked us if we wanted to watch him walk a tightrope between two mountains. We all said no, because we were too afraid for him. But he was stubborn and did it anyway. As he progressed, we were afraid to even look. When he finally made it, he called out and asked us if we wanted to watch him go back. Again, we all said no, but he did it anyway. When he came back, he asked if we wanted to see him do to again with a wagon attached to him. We protested, but he was stubborn and attached a wagon to himself and walked across the abyss. Our hearts were beating a mile a minute, as we watched, until he made it to the other side.
"Then he called out to us to see if we wanted to see him come back. We knew that if we said no, he would do it anyway. So we all said, 'You already proved yourself. We know that you can easily come back. There's no need to do it: He called back, 'You really believe I can do it?' 'Yes, we really believe!' we responded. 'If you really believe, then you come up and sit in the wagon, and let me walk you across.' Nobody budged. 'See," he said, 'You don't really believe.'
"During the rest of my difficult stay in Siberia, I constantly reflected on that scene and asked myself whether I would be willing to sit in that wagon if Hashem was pulling me across. Would I be able to sit calmly and look down, knowing that I am in the most loving and merciful hands? If I believe that Hashem is always pulling me, and that He is always with me, even in the scariest and most troubling of times, then there is nothing ever to fear. That is how I got through the tough times."
Even when I walk through the valley of" death, I have no fear because "You (Hashem) are with me.