On one hand, I sense that God exists. On the other hand, I have a hard time seeing Him. What can I do to bridge that gap?
The Aish Rabbi Replies:
A guy is riding his motorcycle down a mountain rode when suddenly he loses control and goes hurtling off the cliff. As he's sailing through the air, he shouts out: "God! Please make a miracle! Save me!"
Within moments his shirt gets caught on a protruding branch - and he is left dangling thousands of feet above the ground.
There's no way out, so he looks heavenward and shouts: "God! Please save me!"
"Do you trust Me, my beloved son?" calls the voice from heaven.
"Yes, God, I trust you. Just please save me!"
"Okay then," says God. "Let go of the branch and I'll catch you."
The man thinks for a moment, look around, and calls out: "Is anyone else out there?!"
The key to forging a relationship with God is to trust Him. God is not some vindictive, punishing old man in the sky. God is our loving Creator, who wants only our best. Sometimes that calls for Him to “test” us with difficulties; but the intention is only to bring out our very best.
When we are children, we think we are the center of the universe. Then, through experience and trials, we become increasingly aware of the fact that there are things in life beyond our control. Whether it's earthquakes, cancer, the rise and fall of fortunes, circumstances of our birth - and even birth itself... this can only be ascribed to a Higher Power.
Maimonides writes that there are two primary ways to attain recognition of God: by observing the wonders of Creation, and by performing mitzvot. Through nature, we see the beauty, splendor, and perfect unity of the world. Through mitzvot, we see how humanity can likewise attain unity and perfection.
To learn more, see Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan's essays on “Divine Inspiration.” www.aish.com/jl/sp/bas/48937802.html