"When you come into the land of Canaan which I give you for a possession and I will put a case of tzaraat affliction in a house..."—Leviticus 14:34.

In the Book of Leviticus, the Torah speaks of tzaraat, a malady that occurred in Biblical times. The affliction not only appeared on people but also on inanimate objects including the walls of one's house. In the event that one's house became infected, the entire affected area had to be removed, entailing great expense to the homeowner.

This strange disease was not a physical malady but rather a physical manifestation of a spiritual illness. When a person was spiritually sick, G‑d would alert him to his condition by afflicting first his possessions and then his body so that he would be roused to proper penitence and mend his ways.

Many times, however, a person who had done nothing wrong would also find the walls of his home afflicted. Why did innocent people suffer as well?

What seemed to have been a stroke of bad luck was actually a great blessingThe answer is that many Israelites lived in houses built by the Canaanites who had previously occupied the land. Many of the Canaanites hid their wealth inside the walls of their homes, thus, when an Israelite's house would become afflicted, he would be forced to remove the wall and find the hidden treasure. So, what seemed to have been a stroke of bad luck or an unwarranted punishment from Above was actually a great blessing.

When we look back at all of the trouble we have had in our lives, it is not that hard to come to terms with the problems we had before coming to recovery. We realize that G‑d sent us visible signs to force us to realize how sick we really were. But what about when life slaps us in the face even in sobriety, even when we're doing the right things? When this happens, we cry foul. "What have I done now to deserve such problems?"

What we come to realize is that the hidden treasures of life are sometimes only discovered through hardship and loss. Those difficulties that we are so quick to judge as "G‑d giving us a hard time" may actually be His way of sending us gifts beyond our dreams. We may curse our troubles, never even knowing of the treasure intended for us that will more than offset the immediate loss. Of course, if we only knew what was behind the wall, then we would be happy to knock it down. But we don't know. That's what faith is for—to feel peaceful, secure, grateful and happy even when we don't know what's happening. When we fear hardship and change, we not only show a lack of faith but unknowingly forgo great blessings that lie waiting for us just on the other side of our troubles.