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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Default Experiencing God's Love

    Tell us about a time that you experienced God's amazing love for you.

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    This is a strange one.

    At the time I experienced the greatest doubt about the existence of God, at least a God as understood by the world religions, ie an involved and loving God which is at once not reductive to a mere projection of humanity's best traits onto the cosmos, I experienced a number of coincidences.

    At the time my doubt was compounded because I felt these where just coincidences. For a lot of hardened atheists this happens all the time and they dismiss it as cognitive confirmation bias, comforting illusions, stuff like that. I have to be honest too that I have thought like that on occasion. Or accepted something similar, that God would be unlikely to be involved with the minutea of detail about me personally.

    Anyway, songs would come on the TV or radio which spoke to my dilemma, themes or ideas or concepts appeared across the media board, ie I'd read something in a book with resonated with me or spoke to my dilemma and then it was being discussed on the radio that evening, then it was a conversation at work, then on an online forum. Now this would be an understandable coincidence if it where something which was a hot topic in the news or if the links where particularly tenuous but they wherent and often the books where old books and while thematically linked it wasnt a direct or authorial link. It wasnt just the circulation of memes (I hate the meme theory BTW).

  3. #3
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    This is a strange one.

    At the time I experienced the greatest doubt about the existence of God, at least a God as understood by the world religions, ie an involved and loving God which is at once not reductive to a mere projection of humanity's best traits onto the cosmos, I experienced a number of coincidences.

    At the time my doubt was compounded because I felt these where just coincidences. For a lot of hardened atheists this happens all the time and they dismiss it as cognitive confirmation bias, comforting illusions, stuff like that. I have to be honest too that I have thought like that on occasion. Or accepted something similar, that God would be unlikely to be involved with the minutea of detail about me personally.

    Anyway, songs would come on the TV or radio which spoke to my dilemma, themes or ideas or concepts appeared across the media board, ie I'd read something in a book with resonated with me or spoke to my dilemma and then it was being discussed on the radio that evening, then it was a conversation at work, then on an online forum. Now this would be an understandable coincidence if it where something which was a hot topic in the news or if the links where particularly tenuous but they wherent and often the books where old books and while thematically linked it wasnt a direct or authorial link. It wasnt just the circulation of memes (I hate the meme theory BTW).
    It is interesting, isn't it? All this can be explained with coincidence and confirmation bias. Yet the meaning of these things to a person can't be explained at all. Supposedly everything is chance, including the fact that we exist. Or is it chance when the path of the universe was fixed in the beginning with its own properties of behaviour. Either way, somehow, the universe exists in such a way that there are things in it who care about how the universe exists. It makes my mind spin.

    What is God's love within the universe and how I understand it? I think it's just life and hope. Those things are always present.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    It is interesting, isn't it? All this can be explained with coincidence and confirmation bias. Yet the meaning of these things to a person can't be explained at all. Supposedly everything is chance, including the fact that we exist. Or is it chance when the path of the universe was fixed in the beginning with its own properties of behaviour. Either way, somehow, the universe exists in such a way that there are things in it who care about how the universe exists. It makes my mind spin.

    What is God's love within the universe and how I understand it? I think it's just life and hope. Those things are always present.
    While that is true at what point do frequent coincidences become a pattern? Are the findings of science just the confirmation bias of scientists?

    I know from considering carefully the framing of research in the past about how the proving and disproving of hypothesis can create difficulties or raise criticism or accusation of correlations being confused for causations.

    Ultimately there arises the old chestnut that for those who need evidence there will never be sufficient but for those that dont there is no need. I tend to be middle of the road.

    Also, when it comes to God and God's love I think that people expect more from God than they would from distant relatives, parents, family, friends, lovers or others which it is right to expect love from. I dont suspect that those people are indifferent or hostile towards me if they arent in contact all the time or intervening in my life daily, less do I suspect that they dont exist as a consequence.

  5. #5
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    While that is true at what point do frequent coincidences become a pattern? Are the findings of science just the confirmation bias of scientists?

    I know from considering carefully the framing of research in the past about how the proving and disproving of hypothesis can create difficulties or raise criticism or accusation of correlations being confused for causations.
    Consider, for instance, miracles. Can't the very idea of them be described essentially as anomaly, and well timed coincidence? When their notability can only be defined by the people that they happen to, Science and Probability have no use for them, but we still do.

    These questions go too deep for me, or at least deep enough that I'm not sure I believe there is a textbook answer somewhere at the bottom of the well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Ultimately there arises the old chestnut that for those who need evidence there will never be sufficient but for those that dont there is no need. I tend to be middle of the road.

    Also, when it comes to God and God's love I think that people expect more from God than they would from distant relatives, parents, family, friends, lovers or others which it is right to expect love from. I dont suspect that those people are indifferent or hostile towards me if they arent in contact all the time or intervening in my life daily, less do I suspect that they dont exist as a consequence.
    I'm not a huge fan as seeing God primarily as a parental figure, but love also comes in the form of being confined to your room, having your car taken away, or just letting you for once reap your own consequences. You don't recognize that kind of love until you realize, or at least trust in its goal. Anyway, I'm not Christian, as you know, but I believe there is a goal, i.e. hope.

  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I don't know if I have. But I have heard that God cares for us through other people. I have felt the love and kindness of other people in my life. Or a feeling of peace or serenity.

    And I try to act with kindness and love so other people can feel it too I guess.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  7. #7
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    This is why it is ultimately a leap of faith. I really don't understand the desire to nitpick what other people believe or how they believe things.

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default

    Not even sure what to say, exactly, so this will be a ramble.

    I've had kind of an internal war all of my life between the spiritual/intuitive perspective vs the rational one. The two tend to critique each other (one sees/experiences truth directly without a need for justification, the other seeks to "build a case" to discover truth), and I couldn't prioritize one over the other. It's why I sometimes label myself a Christian agnostic nowadays. I had trouble accepting as true beyond what I could rationally show, yet I was unhappy with a life that tried to shut out the spiritual.

    I've had lots of small "spiritual" insights over the course of my life, plus a few moments where I felt like I got rocked out of the blue by something divine. Twice I've heard a voice I attributed to God speak to me, but inside, not heard with my ears but just bursting into my being without warning as if the word were spoken right into my heart.

    (The first was when I warred about whether to change my life completely in my 20's, to the point of suicide, and finally I heard the word "Stay" -- it resonated so much that my depression immediately lifted and did not return for months/years after. The second, years later, I was running myself into the ground trying to use my creative gifts and make a career out of it, and during a talk by this man named Dan Allendar, I heard the voice say, "Die" to me in my heart... in the sense of letting go, at least for the moment, of all those intense and obsessive desires that were driving me, to the ambitions and crazy needs I was using to try and justify my existence... and I just started crying because I knew it was right. That I needed to let go. Both of those "words" I heard were what I needed to hear at that particular time of my life.)

    If I had to just approach those experiences from a spiritual perspective, I would say that whatever benevolence/God exists in this universe was speaking to me. If I had to rationalize it, I can't say what it was at all... except that it's all been stuff I needed to hear/experience, in order to become whole and find peace.

    I spent my life in this weird dance with God as per the Christian faith, and a few years ago, when I was finally realizing that I couldn't prove anything and it was all purely a matter of faith and perspective, I had this evocative dream where I woke up and my husband who I dearly loved was gone without explanation, and I was walking through the house crying, wondering why he had left me, since he hadn't seemed upset with me or wanting to leave. I could still smell his scent in the house, I felt like he was listening to me, that he loved me, but for some reason he was just not answering my cries.

    What I finally came to was that I had always depended on him to take care of me and give me answers, and that now I was being given space to take care of myself and make decisions in my life based on how my heart had been shaped by faith and choice over the years, instead of always having some answer handed to me that I could show to others to justify my choices. It was shortly after that, that I finally reached a sense of peace with God about who and what I was, and no longer worried that he would be ashamed of me. I still struggle sometimes with feeling bad about not having people I care about approve of my choices in life, but not with the universe and not with God; I've had moments where I felt like God (or whatever that feeling of sublime congruence and benevolence and peace is) was the only thing I had to hold onto. I felt loved, even when I felt abandoned by everyone else I thought had promised to love me.

    The only other experience in my life that has been similar was when I played the piano. There is a line from Chariots of Fire where Eric Liddell says that, whe he runs, he 'feels God's pleasure." And that is kind of how I've felt when I play, there's some deep, bottomless spiritual aspect to it. Profound love and joy and beauty from some endless source.

    Aside from all that, I would say that God's love feels palpable when I am with my kids.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Senior Member The Outsider's Avatar
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    I've had glimpses of God, mostly in nature and art, but at rare times also in other people. Little things, that have brought me temporary happiness.
    Last edited by The Outsider; 11-01-2011 at 08:44 AM.

  10. #10
    Riva
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    Is it not more appropriate to keep one's experiences with God to self?
    I believe I read it somewhere.

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