I remember the flight home. It was a dark, drizzly day, not unusual for Shanghai. We had flown there some four years prior, sent by my husband’s employer on business class, bold and ready to take on the world. Now, we were returning to the United States via coach, humbled and unsure of what lay ahead. Despite living in China, we hadn’t been immune to the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. Not only did my husband lose his job, investing most of our savings in a venture that didn’t take off put us in a very unstable financial position. The savings dwindled, the income stalled, the debt increased, and so did the worry.

I looked out theWe were returning, humbled and unsure window at the gray sky, the buildings below getting misty with rain. Then we headed into the dark clouds themselves. Black, bumpy and scary. Until ... ta-da ... all of a sudden, we popped out on top of the clouds, soaring into the clear blue sky. The sunshine had been there all along! I just couldn’t see it from down below.

The message became clear to me. Stay the course, no matter the turbulence. Be confident that a sunny sky awaits past the clouds.

The story is told of a humble man walking to the marketplace while carrying a heavy load. A rich man passed by on his wagon and offered the simple man a ride. After a few minutes, the gentleman asked, “Why don’t you take the load off your back?” The simple man answered, “Isn’t it enough that your horses have to carry my weight? I should also burden them with the weight of my bag?”

On my way back from China, I discovered that perhaps I’m no different than the silly man in the story. I didn’t have to be anxious or even worried about the financial recession, my husband, his partners, the economy, the banks. It was just turbulence. My energy was better spent doing what I could, while at the same time trusting G‑d to help carry my burden. Even I could recognize that His shoulders must be a lot wider than mine, right?

Do I have to try my best to make sound financial decisions? Yes. Do I have to engage in honest business? Yes. Do I have to use my creativity and all the resources within my reach to have a solid marriage, to improve my financial life, and more? 100 percent! But I do so with the clear understanding that G‑d has my back.

We all know the phrase on the U.S. dollar bill, “In G‑d We Trust.” How apropos since our money is one of the areas where trust in G‑d is most often put to the test. We tend to believe that our financial success is the result of our hard-won efforts. But what happens when we don’t see success? What happens when there is a downturn? How do we keep going then? “In G‑d We Trust.” Not in Uncle Sam, not in the stock market, or our company or boss.

“Blessed is the man who places his trust in G‑d.”1 The fourth Chabad Rebbe—Rabbi Shmuel of Lubavitch, also known as the “Rebbe Maharash”—taught that a Jew is not deficient in sustenance. He is deficient in his trust of G‑d. From heaven, there is an abundance of sustenance being provided for a Jew. However, if one is deficient in trust, then the sustenance may not reach him.2

The financial problems that began back in 2008 didn’t just dissipate overnight. There’s been a lot of work involved. But, the greatest and most important work has been to stay the course, with complete trust.

How do we do build this trust? It requires constant workThe financial problems didn’t just dissipate overnight and it takes a lot longer than a plane ride from the other end of the world. However, here’s a practical tip that you can use as early as tomorrow morning. There’s a short, yet powerful morning blessing in our prayer book: “Blessed are You, G‑d, King of the universe, who has provided me with my every need.” In fact, I have a little Post-It note right by these words in my prayer book, reminding me to say them with mindfulness:

  • G‑d has provided me with my every need. Not my job, Uncle Sam, the stock market, Amex. In G‑d we trust. Yes, we have to put in the effort and make the vessel to receive G‑d’s blessings, as it says, “And G‑d will bless you in all that you do.”3 But the one who sends the blessings is Him.
  • He provides my every need; not necessarily what Instagram tells me that I must have now. Moreover, He—and only He who created me—and gives me life daily, knows what is fit for me and what I need to fulfill my mission in this world. Thus, He gives accordingly.
  • He has provided for me. In the past tense. In other words, just like G‑d provided for me yesterday, He will provide for me today. He has a great track record!