I really appreciate my Rabbi. I asked this man so many questions the mere fact he could tolerate it seemed to be a sign of a relationship with God in and of itself. One of the things I really appreciated about him was that he was able to meet me at my understanding level. My questions may have seemed really stupid at times. Others often could not give very good answers or at least answers I could understand. One person I asked even said she doubted I really didn’t know the answer to some of the things I asked, but I really did have questions even if others did not understood how I could in regard to some things.
Rabbi was one of the best people at answering my questions-even the sillier stupid ones-without coming off as condescending or pointing out that I should already know the answer. If after explaining I still didn’t understand what he was talking about he was able to break the explanations down into even smaller parts again and again until I got something out of it, which is something many people didn’t seem able to do. He is not God and doesn’t know everything but he was very helpful.
I still remember one time I was questioning how I was supposed to give problems to God. People just told me to have faith and believe but I wanted to know exactly how I knew for sure if I gave a problem to God correctly and be confident God had received it. You know, like step by step instructions or something. But I was told to just have faith and believe and stuff but I wasn’t sure what that means or looks like and how to be confident I was doing that well enough. After asking for a while the person asked if I asked a minister. The person could tell me about faith in theory but he could not explain how faith in God actually works in practice in a way I could understand.
When I emailed my Rabbi I was really annoyed with the advice I had been previously given because people just said to have faith or give problems to God without even explaining how to do so. Sure it saying just believe may have been enough of an answer for others but I was not satisfied with their answers. Rabbi was able to explain that while giving burdens to God doesn’t mean we abandon the situation we are concerned about and do nothing, but we trust God will take care of it and he gave me an example from his own life about a burden he was dealing with and how faith applies.
This reminded me of a nature program I saw in which a certain species of bird caught food for their young, digested it, and then…well they vomited it back up into the mouths of hungry babies so they could eat. I know this sounds kind of gross but it does have some spiritual applications. In order to be able feed the young believers with less experience or maturity in the faith the word of God you must have first consume the words of God for yourself. It is possible to give someone basic information that can be helpful with little experience but if you want to serve God well, it is not enough to know what truth looks like or to have tasted it a little, or even be able to tell people where to find truth, you have to feed on the word of God until it is inside of you and becomes a part of your life. It is only then that you can be truly ready to help share the word of God and are in the best position to help it become a part of someone else.
If Rabbi didn’t trust God for himself or give problems to God he would not have been able to give me an example of godliness from himself. At best he might have being about to give me a theory of godliness without actually substance, but I needed substance. This is why I feel it is important that those who teach others about God actually know and experience God for themselves. Yes it is fine at some points of development for the baby bird to depend on the mush their parents were able to provide but later on as believers mature they should be able to digest the word of God well enough to have a healthy relationship with God directly and be able to share God’s truth to others with confidence because they have experienced it for themselves.
Picture originally found here