“I am the L‑rd your G‑d who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery” are the words that introduce the Ten Commandments. It is a statement, or rather, a revelation of G‑d as a personal and compassionate redeemer.

Might it have been even more awesome if G‑d proclaimed, “I am the Creator of the universe” or “I am the Source of all forms of life” by way of an introduction?

But with the words, “I am the One who took youG‑d is telling us, “I am with you. Turn to Me in times of trouble.” away out of bondage,” G‑d communicates to us in essence something so important—something we need to know today. Though the First Commandment refers to a specific event, the Exodus out of Egypt, this particular revelation of G‑d is not restricted to this time alone. G‑d is telling us, “I am the G‑d who is involved in your life. I am with you. I know what is going on with you and I care about you. Turn to Me in times of trouble.”

When we face challenges that feel insurmountable, a combination of prayer, meditation and even repeating these words as a mantra can draw us to inspiration, Divine assistance and protection to guide us forward in ways our minds could not figure out or imagine. Try repeating these words and see what opens within you.

It was Divine will that the Jewish people would serve in bondage in Egypt and leave Egypt with wealth. Abraham, our first Patriarch, received this prophecy (Genesis 15:13) even before he had a son. All the subsequent events recorded in the Bible—selling of Joseph, the famine that drove the Jewish people into Egypt and so much more—were perfectly and Divinely orchestrated to result in this Divine utterance, “I am the G‑d who took you out of bondage.”

Rabbi Yitchak Luria likened our entry into the physical world from the soul world where we resided previously to entering Egypt, a place of “narrow straits.” In a similar fashion, it is Divine will that we reside in a human body in a physical world as we do now. This world may feel like a place of constriction for us, especially when we forget why we are here and what we are supposed to do in the limited time allotted for our human embodiment.

During our lifetime, we are given spiritual wake-up calls (also called “Divine afflictions of love”), for often, it’s through our life challenges and suffering that we do our greatest learning and turn our lives in a new direction. As we come to understand the thread through our life events, we appreciate the meaning and purpose they have given to our lives.

When we are in the midst of life’s challenges, we need to continually remind ourselves that G‑d—one G‑d—creates, enlivens, maintains and gives existence to each of us and to all of creation. There is a Divine Plan. There is Divine Providence. Everything in life is flowing from the wisdom of the Divine Plan, even when we do not understand what is happening and it does not make sense to us. There is goodness to be extracted and spiritual opportunity to grow through what is happening in our lives, especially when faced with obstacles.

Nothing in our personal and collective life is an accident. To believe that everything is happening randomly according to chance is to not believe in G‑d. Our sages have said, “Everything is in the hands of heaven, except awe of heaven.” We may not be able to effect external changes in the world, but we can raise our consciousness and heighten our faith. When we can see the Divine hand in our lives on a personal and collective level, we are happier, we are spiritually aligned, we accept life more peacefully and spiritually grow through the challenges we face more easily.

It may be meaningful to take a few minutes to Challenges help make us who we are today consider significant events in your life as part of your soul destiny, not as a punishment, karma or a mistake you made. It was a Divine plan for what you needed to learn in this lifetime. Challenges help make us who we are today. Though our egos may not have consciously chosen them, they offered us deeper spiritual growth and expanded capacities to love and do good for others. We became more G‑d-connected. Our priorities shifted. Sometimes, these challenges brought us to our knees, and we called out to G‑d for help and a new way.

The subsequent other nine commandments are an expression of our consciousness and acceptance of the First Commandment. We could not violate the other commandments because that would be going against the G‑d reality that we know as true. When we experience G‑d, the oneness of the Divine, we know clearly that there is no other G‑d. So how could we covet what is not for us? It would be impossible. How could we not honor the parents we’ve been given? How could we not keep the holy day of Shabbat?

When our consciousness is rooted in the truth of G‑d’s existence, we accept and experience our lives in accordance with Divine will.