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In the course of his many trials, Abraham detected this pattern.
He could have logically decided to avoid any further spiritual progression, because it might subject him to even greater ordeals than those he had already sustained. He desired so much to come closer to God that he was willing to pay any price.
I read in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (2:1) that when sleeping, an unclean spirit dwells upon the body, and that's why we wash our hands in the morning.
What does washing have to do with getting it off our fingers when we awake?
Here's how it is done: Hold a washing cup in right hand and fill it with water.
Pass the cup to the left hand and pour water over the right hand (up until the wrist).
Thus, when he was put to the ultimate task - to sacrifice Isaac - Abraham was not taken aback. We are not of the mettle of Abraham, and we pray every day, "Do not put us to test." While we indeed wish to advance spiritually, we ask to be spared the distress of trial.