I have always been struggling with God. Is God real? I have fear and have struggled with this since I was a child. Who is God and how do I really find Him and trust Him and know who and What God is?
Struggling With God (Got your own question? Ask here…)
Dear Struggling With God,
Fear about God has been a problem ever since the first human beings looked up at the sky and wondered where the next meal would come from. What if there was some all-powerful force beyond our view that determined these things — and He was mad at us? That’s frightening!
Religion, while introducing multitudes to the idea of God, has also contributed to our fear of God, in order to control people. (Sorry, Religion. I appreciate you, but you did this, big time. And I don’t think you ever apologized.) Add to that all the people who have been killed in the name of God, and it’s no wonder we have fear about God! You are certainly not alone in this fear.
You asked, “How do I know God?” By one definition, God is unknowable. God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and so big that He/She/It defies comprehension.
So, that leaves us in a pickle!
On the other hand, according to the Christian Bible, 1 John 4:16, “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” Take out the archaic dialect, and you have the basic principle that God is love, and when we’re in love, we’re within God, and God is within us. So, to know love is to know God.
Personally, that’s my favorite idea about God. Because I can feel love, and I can know that feeling. And I can even work on feeling more of that, if I choose to.
And that brings us to the heart. Not the physical heart. I’m referring to the spiritual heart. Everyone has one. It’s right in the middle of your chest, and you can feel it, just by focusing there and breathing.
The simplest, easiest method I know for knowing God is to sit quietly, and focus in your heart. As you breathe in, inwardly say the word “God”. As you breathe out, inwardly say the word “Love”. Repeat for 20 minutes or so. Practice every day until you find something that works better, at which time, let me know what you found.
A lot of us have bad feelings stemming from having had religion forced upon us when we were little. That’s one reason we have new names for God now, like “Universal Love”, “Higher Power”, “Source”, and so on. It’s like new branding for God — a revised marketing campaign.
For a while when I was little, I associated God with cottage cheese. I remember sitting at the kitchen table, with my aunt talking about God and eating cottage cheese, with her mouth open. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and at the age of six I made a firm decision I didn’t want anything to do with God. Eventually that changed, but that’s another story.
If you don’t like the word “God”, you could use another word you prefer. Or better yet, go inside, look at the word “God”, face whatever fear or discomfort you might have, and just let it go. Neutralize the word “God”, and make it OK with you. Then you’ll have one less word that frightens you. I don’t mean to minimize the fear anyone might have, but when it comes down to it, the only way to not have fear is to look at it and let it go. I’m not saying that’s easy, though.
Here are some programs that can help you stop struggling with God, feel connected to God, and feel connected to love.