Did God really help you find a boat?

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DarkJedi
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by DarkJedi » 02 Sep 2014, 18:38

Ray DeGraw wrote:I had an interesting experience on Sunday while attending a ward in Utah.

A woman in Sunday School talked about an experience praying to find her keys after four days of not being about to find them, and she ended her story with the following statement, to the best of my memory:
"I know it's a little thing that doesn't mean anything to others, but it helps me remember that God will help me when I face much bigger challenges. I tend to get stressed out and forget how much I have appreciated the help when I needed it most."


I think there is something powerful and profound in that - particularly the idea that some people really need and actually are blessed by seeing blessings in things others see as silly or even ridiculous.

Who am I to say she wasn't right - and, more importantly, why would I feel the need to insist that she wasn't? When I do that, am I really any different than those who insist everyone can have that sort of experience if only they are faithful enough? Aren't both positions exclusive and dismissive in nature?
I don't disagree, Ray, but God's apparent failure to help in the bigger things is why I am where I am. Were that not the case, I would not have had a crisis of faith. From what I read here, I am not unusual.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Curt Sunshine
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 02 Sep 2014, 19:34

I understand and agree completely, DJ. I get that - but I also know it means a lot to some people and helps them tremendously.

That's really all I'm saying - that I can't bring myself to dismiss or ridicule statements like hers.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

intothelight
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by intothelight » 02 Sep 2014, 23:38

DarkJedi wrote:
Ray DeGraw wrote:I had an interesting experience on Sunday while attending a ward in Utah.

A woman in Sunday School talked about an experience praying to find her keys after four days of not being about to find them, and she ended her story with the following statement, to the best of my memory:
"I know it's a little thing that doesn't mean anything to others, but it helps me remember that God will help me when I face much bigger challenges. I tend to get stressed out and forget how much I have appreciated the help when I needed it most."


I think there is something powerful and profound in that - particularly the idea that some people really need and actually are blessed by seeing blessings in things others see as silly or even ridiculous.

Who am I to say she wasn't right - and, more importantly, why would I feel the need to insist that she wasn't? When I do that, am I really any different than those who insist everyone can have that sort of experience if only they are faithful enough? Aren't both positions exclusive and dismissive in nature?
I don't disagree, Ray, but God's apparent failure to help in the bigger things is why I am where I am. Were that not the case, I would not have had a crisis of faith. From what I read here, I am not unusual.
Thank-you DJ for saying this. I have felt the same way. In "A Grief Observed", CS Lewis, after losing his wife of only a few years, wrote:

"Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not 'So there's no God after all,' but 'So this is what God's really like. Deceive yourself no longer."

Right or wrong, that is the danger I feel when I hear stories like about God helping somebody find a boat - and probably why my desire is to dismiss them. A friend's daughter recently hung herself in their basement. She was 17 years old. Her parents found her. Doesn't it point to some terrible conclusions about God? That He will assist in boat finding and yet not prompt somebody to come and help a girl who will commit suicide? Or could not He has at least caused her to be killed in a car accident a few days prior to suicide, if He knew she was going to do it anyways? At least spare the effects on the family of the suicide?

I don't know what you went through - but I am sure it was awful. I know what it took to bring me to my faith crisis - and for me, I would never bring a child into the world as a result. The awful hell they might go through I just can never imagine the joys of life being worth the risk. If I had known what the past 10 years would have been like, I'd never have accepted treatment for the disease diagnosed in me. I guess I am fortunate though. I still think that most of the time, God is good and kind. I truly have pity for the people which have passed through so much suffering as to drive even that hope out of their souls. I often wonder what God's answer will be when I see Him. This is a short - almost stupid - clip - but I get a great deal of comfort out of it. When the man with the warped hand looks up into Jesus' eyes, as if to say, "You are healing my hand, but what about healing this emotional destruction, social isolation, loneliness, and despair that having only 1 hand has caused in me. And when Jesus looks at him. Something about that gaze. I know it's acting, but still - something about it. I think that will be my answer for why. And I think it will be good enough at that time. I can still see Jesus and believe that there is a good reason for why. Or maybe not a good reason - but at least not a bad 'I did this to you on purpose', or 'I don't care that this happened to you' reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUb1Kwlgitw

Roy
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Roy » 03 Sep 2014, 14:08

These are the questions at the heart of my faith crisis. The qoutes in my signature line have been helpful to me.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

university
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by university » 04 Sep 2014, 21:58

The other day I was in a meeting with my bishop who mentioned praying when he'd lost his car keys only to open his eyes to find them. Little did he know the idea of the "car-key God" is troubling to me. I don't buy much into the "tender mercies" lessons, either. I'm appreciative and grateful when I have such "tender mercies" but I don't feel like I see them the way other members do--as the Lord intervening directly in my life as a kind of reconciliation for the struggles I'm having. I don't know. I'm grateful for blessings, regardless. Maybe I'm wrong about it and my fellow ward members do have the right idea about it. But I struggle with the concept and logically, the idea of a God favoring some people so much over others doesn't sit well with me.

That being said, close family members have had miraculous spiritual experiences of what they believe was divine intervention that can't really be explained by logic. When I accept the paradigm that God doesn't intervene, I would have to excuse away their experiences, which in some cases, I just can't do. And so it gets complicated. Not to mention, when the going gets tough, I still pray to God for help. And sometimes I do feel like my life is being guided. Alas, the paradox continues.

I don't know the answer. But while I think some find comfort in the idea of God intervening all the time, once the shelf breaks for some and they start asking why God doesn't intervene in many horrific scenarios, it can be spiritually devastating---not to mention those silently suffering in the back of the church classroom going through very testing trials when people go on about their little divine interventions. So I don't think the culture at church (at least mine) that takes these kinds of interventions for granted is so positive for members but maybe I'm wrong.

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Haven
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Haven » 14 Sep 2014, 13:41

Prayer has been on my mind a lot lately. I pray many times in the day and I feel God's presence in my life. I feel like He's given me strength that on my own I wouldn't have. But I also recognize the incredible suffering endured by life on this planet. As it's been asked many times why does God help someone find their keys and ignore the cries of a suffering child? I wonder if God does intervene but in ways that we can't see. For example, sending us strength to endure. Maybe there are angels surrounding us to help but they don't take the suffering away, they just help us to somehow survive it and later to heal? I have to believe for my own sanity that God is aware and somehow He will in the end make it clear and heal us.

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Heber13
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Heber13 » 19 Sep 2014, 14:31

I have a more peaceful relationship with God when I don't expect He do things when I needed Him, despite some things I think I misunderstood from church teachings about having enough faith to move mountains. And I have had some very low times when I couldn't go on by myself...I expected those were the times I would feel His help. I got through my bad times, so ... I guess I didn't need it after all. In other words, I don't know what I really need or how much I can really endure, so I do better not expecting God when I think I need Him.

I do better when I believe He is there, but trust He doesn't need to intervene. I believe God helps those who help themselves. So I will plead for His help, and stand and act as if it is up to me whether He helps or not.

I have had years of prayers unanswered (or I missed the answers). I have had recent prayers answered. I choose to believe that. I won't share the details, but I find it uplifting to me and my family who all prayed and fasted on my behalf and were blessed.

I'll be honest, it hurts when I hear the "boat" type statements by others, and wonder why I spent nights alone in my hell. But that has helped me to learn to manage expectations and not judge others, but simply trust God even if I can't explain it or predict it.

It is just too unrealistic to compare circumstances. One person's boat could be another person's seagulls, could be another person's Gethsemane.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 19 Sep 2014, 16:21

One person's boat could be another person's seagulls, could be another person's Gethsemane.


That might be the most profound thing I've ever read. Seriously.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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MockingJay
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by MockingJay » 20 Sep 2014, 08:00

Ray DeGraw wrote:
One person's boat could be another person's seagulls, could be another person's Gethsemane.


That might be the most profound thing I've ever read. Seriously.
Beautiful and the most important thing to remember. :clap:

AmyJ
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Re: Did God really help you find a boat?

Post by AmyJ » 20 Apr 2018, 12:00

mercyngrace wrote:
05 Aug 2014, 19:20
None of my powerful spiritual experiences, NONE, have involved God removing my burden (however large or small). All of them were powerful, paradigm shifting, realizations about why God would not remove it.
<Thinking Out Loud Here>

We finished reading the Book of Mormon recently for my Pathways class. There was intellectual stuff, there was a lot of stuff I tuned out of, there wre some uncomfortable moments...

But the times when I felt something - something made the most sense for me where these:
  • Studying the tree in Lehi's dream and how it represents "the love of God" or Charity. NOTE: I used to HATE Lehi's dream in terms of how I rank BoM stories - but now I get the tree...
  • The connection I got when equating the Alma 32 tree to building a Charity tree in our own lives. KEY TAKEAWAYS: 1. Don't expect the steps you take in the beginning to match the steps you take later on in the process (sapling needs vs adult tree needs) 2. Building a Charity tree will take a long time - 5-20 years at least, so don't expect it overnight and don't expect to see measurable growth overnight. The tree sustains growth over time with proper maintenance.
  • Brother of Jared/Jesus Christ Dialog: What is the problem, why is it a problem, what are some options to fix it, and most importantly for me (how can I (God) help you (person) fix it?
  • Calling of the 3 Nephites (out of the 12): Jesus Christ sat down with each disciple and asked them more or less "What do you desire of me?"
.

A lot of the time I feel confused and almost paralyzed by indecision about what I believe and what to do about what I may no longer believe.
I take comfort from this site:
a) Others have and do feel similarly - there is a model for this known as Fowler's Stage 4.
b) I don't have to make any choices now - in fact, it is recommended that I not make choices in haste.
c) There may be room for me in the tent. I may need to bring a tent extension along with my good attitude if I decide to stay in the tent.

When I pray about how I feel, it seems to alternate with waves of futility (God is not there/does not care about this) and waves of hope (I NEED God to care because it is important to me).

However, what brings me the most peace right now is the sense that in this process my actions are the catalyst. I need to decide how God influences my life and go from there. A stupid example I guess is: If God is going to strike me with lightening bolts, I need to have set it up so that I can attract the most bolts possible and grounded them as safely as I can.

I guess this part of this thread resonated with me because while at first I half-asked God if he would remove this Stage 4 angst from me, I realize that He cannot and He will not - but maybe when I get out of it on the other side, I will see His hand in it (or not) and understand that.

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