Who isn’t suffering nowadays? We’re surrounded by tragedy, difficulty, and challenges. And then we look at the headlines every day, and we read about even more suffering!

Yet, can the source of some of our misery possibly be that we view our lives in a limited way, believing that where we are now represents how we always were and will be?

Our world is just a tiny snapshot of the infinite cosmic worlds, and we are seeing but a tiny dot of the full picture. But moreover, even within the here and now of our physical world, everything remains in a state of flux. We may not be aware of it, but at every moment there is enormous change. The shift may occur so slightly as to be imperceptible to our eyes and minds, but it is taking place.

One of the most moving accounts of hope emerges from within overwhelming darkness, as the Torah records the first exchange between G‑d and Moses.

The Jewish people had been experiencing the severest tyranny of their Egyptian oppressors, and then G‑d commanded Moses to reveal that He will be freeing them from bondage.

Moses responded to G‑d with a question: "When I come to the children of Israel, and I say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" 1

By this request for a divine name, Moses sought to bring a measure of solace and hope to a broken people that this indeed was a promise to them from the G‑d of their forefathers.

Yet G‑d responded elusively. Moses should convey to the Hebrew slaves that G‑d’s name is “I will be what I will be.”

For a time, the slavery became worse after Moses communicated G‑d’s promise. Though the seeds of redemption were sown, from the people’s perspective nothing had changed. And yet we can see in retrospect that the situation was dramatically evolving.

Perhaps G‑d’s message to the downtrodden people is G‑d’s message to us in our moments of misery: we can connect to divinity with “I will be what I will be”—the power to be.

When we realize that being is inseparable from becoming, we can free ourselves from our anxieties and self-defeating habits.

When the blackness seems overpowering, when the tedious monotony is driving us to the brink of insanity, we can take comfort in the realization that nothing in our world remains static.

Not our present challenges. Nor who we are.

You, your life, and your circumstances are an integral part of G‑d’s cosmic plan, emerging anew every instance. The present is only what we have brought from our pasts, and what we will use to forge into our immediate futures.

There is no static “is.” There is only what we were—and most importantly, what we choose to become.