The Guiding Hand
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The Guiding Hand

The Guiding Hand

There are no coincidences in life -- everything that happens is from God, Who interacts intimately with His creation.

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Some people believe in the concept of God as Creator: He created the world, but then stepped back and let it run its course.

Others believe in God as Creator and Sustainer: He created the world and sustains it each and every day. The ongoing existence of the world is totally dependent upon God.

The Jewish view is comprehensive: Creator, Sustainer and Supervisor. This means that God created the world, sustains it each and every day, and is personally involved with every person and every aspects of His creation every second of the day.

How can it be that God is intimately involved in the lives of every person, including you and me?After all, there are over a billion people in China alone! Does God really have the time to care about each little life?

There are over a billion people in China alone -- does God really have the time to care about every little life on earth?

If you were one of tens of thousands of employees working at IBM, do you think the CEO would ever forget you? Of course he would! He doesn't even know you exist.

But what if the CEO was your father? Would he forget you? Never. Not only would he know who you were, he would take a special interest in how you were doing and what your worries and concerns were. He would always have a hand in your life, sometimes overtly and sometimes behind the scenes. He would try to arrange that your work would go smoothly for you. And when necessary, he would give you a tough assignment if he knew it was for your good. Your daily progress would be carefully watched and lovingly monitored. As your father, he would only want what is best for you.

God is our Father in Heaven. Each one of us is His child. He created us, gave us our parents, and brought people and events into our lives for a reason. He watches over us with love. And He doesn't forget us.

MISJUDGING GOD

We tend to make mistakes in understanding our relationship with God because we are human and look at life through human eyes.

To even begin to understand God, we have to try to break out of our limited perceptions and reach a whole different level of awareness.

God is not male and not female but has attributes that we associate with males and females.

God is not restrained by the physical world and has the ability to make anything happen.

We are bound by time but God is beyond time. We live in the present, reflect on the past, and worry about the future. God is above time, seeing past, present, and future in one glance. He knows what happened in the past, sees us in the present, and knows the future.

THE MAZE OF LIFE

God is continually guiding us through life. Imagine a person in a maze. At one end is the entrance. On the other is the exit. Now imagine that there is no roof on the maze, so we can look down and see the entire structure. We can see where the person is, where she has come from, and where she is going.

We watch as she enters and begins to move through the maze. At one point she comes to a split. Her choice is to go left or to go right. If she turns left, she will have a clear path to the exit. If she turns right, she will come to a dead end. What she sees from her point of view is very limited, while from our vantage point, the situation is much clearer.

We are the ones in life's maze, and the one looking down from above is God.

We are the ones in life's maze, and the one looking down from above is God. God sees where we are, from where we have come, and where we are going.

Not only did He create us, but He also created the maze. Each of us has our own individually designed maze, as He puts all of life's choices before us.

If the person goes right instead of left she will hit a dead end. At that point she can do one of two things: sit down and give up or realize she's made a mistake, stop, turn around, and head back the other way, eventually finding her way to the exit.

God wants us to make the proper choices. So He brings people, events, and circumstances into our lives to help us do just that. Sometimes we get the message, sometimes not.

When we find ourselves bewildered by life's maze, everything possible is done to show us which way to turn: the better way is made brighter, more accessible, more inviting. Maybe someone else -- a teacher, a mentor, is brought into our life to show us the way.

THERE ARE NO COINCIDENCES

However, in order for us to understand the message that God is sending, we have to be aware that He is sending a message, that life isn't just a series of coincidences.

When events happen, they happen for a reason. This is God's way of communicating with us.

But remember, you can ask others for advice and guidance, but in the end only you know what God is telling you.

The same experience can happen to two different people and deliver two different messages.

The same experience can happen to two different people and deliver two different messages. Sometimes we don't know what the message is at the moment, but with time and careful thought, often, looking back, we understand.

We will not always like the message or how it arrives. Hitting a wall in life can often be painful. But even when the path looks like a dead end, we can make the choice to open up endless possibilities.

Adapted from Lori Palatnik's Remember My Soul Buy the book from amazon.com

Published: January 26, 2000


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Visitor Comments: 2

(2) Neve Alumnus, June 13, 2001 12:00 AM

Enough G-d To Go Around

You ask the question: "How can it be that God is intimately involved in the lives of every person, including you and me?" Rebbetzin Tzipporah Heller offers a clear and concise approach to the concept of a "personal G-d"; she asks, (I paraphrase) If I go to the beach and get a sunburn, and you are also on the beach, will you get LESS sun because I got more than I needed? Everyone on every beach everywhere will get a sunburn, because there's enough sun to go around. Similarly, there's enough G-d to go around; enough for you to have your needs met, and enough for me to have my needs met, and so on, all the way around the world."

This analogy has sustained me through some bleak times, when I wondered aloud if G-d could hear my prayers. G-d hears everyone's prayers; there's enough G-d to go around.

Thank you for a poignant article.

(1) Sharon Imler, October 1, 2000 12:00 AM

Excellent explanation for those searching.

Clearly God does speak to each of us. We must not go on our feelings, but we must match what we think He is telling us with His Holy Words, to be sure.

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