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42. Finding God by Larry Crabb

 I read Effective Biblical Counseling in the 80's, and it was helpful in many ways with identifying the problem underlying much of my problems. I have read most of Larry Crabb's books, attended the Institute of Biblical Counseling (ten days after the death of my dad in 1985), went through a biblical counseling class (PEOPLE Class - People Encouraging Other People to Live Effectively) where we practiced group interaction and "telling our stories" over the course of a year, and led a discussion group from the book Encouragement by the same author. 

This book is really more of the same. I thank Dr. Crabb for giving me a Biblical basis for looking at issues. I think counseling, in general, is very good at helping one understand why we do what we do. I do not necessarily think it completes the process of healing to finding Him. Only God can do that:"No one comes to the Me unless the Father draws Him...And they will be taught of God" (John 6:44,45). I think Dr. Crabb puts far too much importance on his method than on the power of God to draw us to Himself and to speak to our souls which gets to the core of what he says is the core problem: Doubting God and His goodness because "He who comes to God, must believe that He is and is a rewarded of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

It reminds me of a time I was really struggling, and I went to pray, and I said to my husband that I would not leave until I heard from God. So I was there four days, and God spoke to me. I believed Him. I found Him in that carved out time. I did not doubt His goodness in the thing that had happened to me. I forgave the people who wronged me (and have not struggled with anger or unforgiveness since then). It was all through meditating deeply in the story of Joseph with the Holy Spirit. I was released.

I went up to the church, and there was a woman there who asked me what I had been doing, and I told her. She said, "You know I struggled with depression for years, and I started going and just doing extended days of prayer just like you, and I no longer struggle with depression. He is the Wonderful Counselor, isn't He?"  AMEN. 

Larry Crabb is not the Wonderful Counselor, and I feel like he almost knocks any kind of supernatural experience one might have with our Wonderful Counselor where He might truly speak to us.

I think this is Crabb's attempt at helping people go past just looking at problems to finding God. He says at the beginning that it is not about spiritual disciplines, but his solution at the end is to tell your story (more of what he has said before in his other books, but he has gone from a one-on-one counseling approach to being in community to tell our stories, which is good) and read your Bible by the fireplace with the Holy Spirit. So I do not feel he really contributes much to truly finding God that has not already been said before. He almost contradicts himself by saying that it is not about spiritual disciplines but yet saying to read your Bible. 

I have found that it helps for people to tell their stories and be validated and then create space for God to speak to the person. Crabb doesn't really deal with the whole idea of that intimate encounter where we hear the voice of God who speaks truth to us in our innermost being. I feel when we create space to hear in the midst of our pain (like I did on that prayer retreat), we find Him and learn to trust Him (because he says that doubting God and His goodness is at the core of our issues). 

This can be a facilitated sort of thing with a prayer counselor where that space is created and encouraged with a loving person (or group of people which is even better but some people are not always able to open up to a group, and we must respect how God made them) who helps the person to listen to and find God. 

I think Crabb makes it far too complicated with his charts and diagrams. 

I feel like he is on a journey and decided to write a book. He wrote this book several years ago, and I hope he has gained more intimacy with Him. It seems like he really intellectualizes the whole process FAR too much! 

Hard to articulate what I really feel about this book. I had some quotes I thought were great, a few I disagreed with. 

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