The mabul did not only happen in the days of Noach, rather it is an event that recurs from time to time. The flood can present itself in the context of material distractions or communal service distractions, where a person may feel too overwhelmed to be able to amply concentrate on serving Hashem. The advice given by the Baal Shem Tov to spare oneself from the figurative flood is to enter the words of Torah and Tefilla. What exactly does this mean?
The Rebbe provides a wonderful explanation. In order to ensure that no other important tasks take priority over our relationship with Hashem, we need to sharpen our Yiddishe perspective. There are quite a few ingredients that can help accomplish this. Firstly we say Modeh ani, acknowledging that our life is only from Hashem (due to the fact that He returns our neshama to us).
Then, we recite birchos hashachar, and we thank Hashem for every detail of our lives individually. For example, when we say malbish arumim, we are conveying a very deep message – even though my clothes are hanging in the closet, it is still necessary to bentch Hashem for giving us clothes. Since Hashem is constantly recreating the world, essentially, the clothes that we think are in the closet are really not there, and the only reason why they are continually there is because Hashem is recreating it.
When we view every detail or our lives from the perspective that its physical existence is entirely dependent on Hashem enabling it, the whole world takes on a very different role. It takes on a role in which any distraction from expressing our relationship with Hashem cannot exist. Only a world void of Hashem’s constant input can distract a Yid from his primary responsibilities of Torah and Mitzvos.
This then is the advice offered for those suffering from a flood of worldly distractions. Refocus on what the real existence of the world is, and the challenge will be handed to the Yetzer HaRa to try and convince a Yid otherwise. This is the bitachon message, to promote a life in which all importance and attribution is given to Hashem and not to the physical visible phenomena.