He Does It For Us When We Did All We Can
By the making of the Menorah the Torah uses the word "Te'aseh" (it shall be made) instead of "Ta'aseh" (you should make). Chazal learn out from there that Moshe tried and was unable to make the Menorah on his own, until Hashem told him to throw the gold into a fire and "it shall be made" on its own. The question is asked, why did Hasem first describe to Moshe how to make it in such detail if Moshe would anyway be unable to figure it out? Why did he have to try so hard and give up before Hashem made it for him?
The Ba'al Hasulam writes a very important Yesod that applies to all areas of Avodas Hashem. He writes that the real truth is that we can do NOTHING in Avodas Hashem on our own. We can't even lift a finger for Hashem's sake. And at the end of the day, everything we achieve in Avodas Hashem is a gift from Hashem. But Hashem doesn't give gifts to those who don't need them. It's like trying to fill a full glass with water. The glass needs to be empty before you can fill it up. Hashem only gives the gift of progress to those who really feel the need for it. And a person cannot feel the need for it properly until he has done everything in his power to achieve it on his own - and failed. Only once a person has done everything they possibly can and they still don't succeed, then, and ONLY then, do they have a proper vessel - and a proper TEFFILAH to Hashem for His help. And as soon as that happens, Hashem does it FOR them.
That is why Moshe had to try on his own again and again. Only after he gave up did he have the proper vessel and "need" for Hashem to do it FOR him.
Along these lines,'Efshar Letaken' wrote to someone after a fall:
Now that you had a fall, try to see what hole you left open that the sneak got in from and lock it up!
Every time I had a fall and looked back and was true to myself, it wasn't that hard to see what and where I went wrong.
It's up to us to do the maximum not to have access to things we have no control over, even if it means going a bit extreme - like a very short "white list" of websites we really need.
For me, I realized that if I have no access to dirt whatsoever, my struggle is a very easy one, because Hashem gives us a break when we do our part to the tee. But we sometimes think we have done our part, when in truth we still have way to go.
'Return Again' wrote on our forum:
It took me 58 years to realize that I can't win this fight on my own. I guess that's a success.
Lo-rd, give me the strength and foresight I need to withstand my desires today. I want to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
'Ur a Jew' replies to 'Return Again' and welcomes him:
Your story reminds me of the person who discovered in his seventies that the tefillin he wore all his life had never been kosher. Upon learning this, he started to dance. The perplexed onlookers wondered aloud, "why are you dancing when you just discovered that you've never put on kosher tefillin?" To which the fellow replied: "Precisely. Can you imagine what would have happened had I only discovered this after I died? Now that I have the opportunity to be mekayim the mitzvah properly, should I not be bisimcha?" So yes, its taken 58 years, but dance and be besimcha because it's not too late to change. I wish you a hearty welcome, you've come to the right place. We need Hashem's help every day to sober. If you keep that in mind and take it one day at a time, you will go very far. Hatzlacha.
Along the same lines, 'Ben Durdaya' wrote:
The P'nei Menachem once related that after "The Big Fire" in Ger (I don't know when that was, but apparently it was a big fire) which burnt down the Sefas Emes's house and extensive library, the insurance company sent down assessors to determine the cause of the fire and to put a price tag on the damage.
Passing by them in the courtyard the Sefas Emes saw them conversing among themselves, and sent one of his aides over to see what they were discussing. The aide came back, and reported that in their professional opinion the fire was started by a carelessly discarded cigarette butt.
Said the Sefas Emes, "If one careless - seemingly insignificant - mishap, can wreak such destruction and devastation - How much more powerful and far reaching must the effects of a few small - but meaningful - steps taken in Avodas Hashem be!"