|"Son, how big is that plane up there?"|
The story is told about the little boy taking a walk with his father when unexpectedly, the child asks, “How big is God?” Pausing for a moment before answering, the dad looks up at the sky, spots an airplane, points to it and then asks his son, “How big is that plane?” From his perspective, the young fellow replies, “Small. You can hardly see it.”
Then the father takes his son to a nearby airport and goes to an observation area. When they see a jet parked at the terminal not far away, he asks again, “And now, how big is this one?” The boy responds with excitement, “Oh, Daddy, it is huge!”
“So it is with God,” the dad says. “Size depends on how far you are from something. The closer you are to God, the bigger He will be in your life.”
Years ago I had a similar experience when I went to see the Grand Canyon for the first time. Standing along the canyon’s south rim, I saw what appeared to be a large bird in flight halfway across it. However, the Grand Canyon is 18 miles across – and that “bird” I spotted was one of the sightseeing airplanes that tourists often use.
From afar, the plane looked miniscule, even though it likely was carrying several people my size or larger. Size depends on how far you are from something.
When we’re going through life and God seems distant – or even out of sight – could it be our fault? Have we been neglecting time with Him in His Word or in prayer? In Psalm 119:9-11, King David wrote these penetrating words, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your word. I seek You with all my heart, do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
As for prayer, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says we should “pray continually,” and Philippians 4:6-7 tells us how we can overcome fear and anxiety, even in the most overwhelming circumstances: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Have we convinced ourselves that we can worship the Lord just fine on our own, even though the Scriptures admonish, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25)?
I’m reminded of a time when my parents and I went into a department store and I became distracted, wandering off to examine a toy or something. After a few moments, the thought came to me that I had drifted away from my mom and dad. Being small in that seemingly vast store, a wave of panic quickly set in. Until I turned around – and there they were. I had imagined them far away, but they had been right there all the time.
So, how would you answer that question: How big is God? If He seems small, or far away, might it be that you’re the one that has chosen not to draw near?