Though difficult and incredibly time-consuming, I truly believe that the hours I spend counseling couples dealing with infertility and arranging the halachic details that pertain to their medical procedures are the single most important facets of my professional life.

No one should have to experience the trauma of dashed hopes and monthly despair that these brave people go through. I am in constant awe of the grace and patience demonstrated by so many couples under the most difficult of circumstances and during the most invasive of procedures.

Perhaps the true test of our faith is when the good times are rollingI often find myself repeating a phrase I heard from a visiting rabbi. One of the sweetest people I've ever met, the rabbi is renowned for his knowledge and sage advice. He's the head of a large institution and spends his life helping and teaching. He has taken orphaned children into his own home and raised them till adulthood. A man of true compassion and brilliance, he would have made a wonderful father, and yet he and his wife never had children of their own.

In his sweet-accented Yiddish he once remarked, "A yunger pohr vos hobben chasseneh un gleich hoben kinder, veisen nisht az es is doh a G-tt in velt!" which loosely translates as, "Young couples who have kids immediately after marriage, haven't really discovered G‑d."

They've Never Had to Pray or Hope

When life runs smoothly without complications, we tend to take things for granted and expect things to continue sailing along. Unfortunately, for most of us, it is only when the arrows of misfortune strike that we wake up to the unfairness of life and the need to establish a personal relationship with our Creator.

It may be for this reason that G‑d described the manna that fell in the desert as a test of faith. "I will rain bread from heaven. The people will gather their daily needs, so I can test them whether or not they follow my Torah" (Exodus 16:4). On first glance it seems counterintuitive. The manna was a gift from G‑d. It fell daily at our doorsteps, full of flavor and ready to eat. Life doesn't come any easier than this; all your needs and aspirations lie spread out before you, ready to be enjoyed at leisure.

And yet, perhaps the true test of our faith is when the good times are rolling. It is natural to pray when the bullets are flying over the foxhole, but true character is shown when we realize our responsibilities without being pushed. Our chance to demonstrate faith is when the manna is falling, not when we've got to beg and scavenge for the keys to existence.

Nobody wants to be tested. We pray to G‑d to grant us the gifts of children, life and sustenance in a dignified and lavish manner. May G‑d protect us all from the pangs of poverty, ill health and infertility. It may well be true that sufferers and survivors develop a deeper, richer perspective of life and Divinity; yet, given the choice, we'd much rather a life of quiet contentment than ride the roller-coaster of anguish.

We pray to G‑d for the privilege to pass the test of faith by staying true to Him even as He showers us with goodness. Let all of us be blessed not only with that which we request from G‑d, but with all that we truly need.