I recently spent some time in the attic of my childhood memories and was both comforted and convicted by what I found there. God used to be bigger when I was smaller!
As I poured over the pages of memories I was amazed at how much better my theology was when I was a child. I understood more about the awesomeness of God in those early years.
My understanding of the person of God was nurtured by my grandparents who, in their latter years, recaptured a child-like understanding of God. I could sense their wonder as they helped me to understand my wonder about God.
I was never at a loss for questions, especially on those nights when we would sit out on their front porch at night and just look up at the heavens. “How big is God?”…”Does God have a mommy and a daddy?”…”When was God born?”…”But how can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”
It was their answers to these and other questions, as well as their inability to answer many of my questions, that helped me to develop a keen awareness of the majesty and greatness of God. God was so big when I was small.
Was God bigger when you were smaller? Do you remember how your little heart and mind overflowed with grand thoughts about God? Do you remember the questions you had about God that nobody could answer?
And somehow it didn’t matter that there were questions that could not be answered. They too, contributed to our understanding of the bigness and majesty of God. Somehow our estimation of God did not diminish because difficult questions went unanswered.
As I continued to turn the yellowed pages of my childhood memories I was convicted by the evidence before me. Here was proof that as I got bigger, God got smaller. As I got older God occupied less space in my thinking.
There were other things to deal with that, at the time, seemed much bigger and more important than God. Life became more complex. I was too busy with the overwhelming concerns of growing up to be overwhelmed by God anymore.
I no longer had or found the time to sit out on the front porch with my grandparents and look up at the heavens. There was simply too much to do. There was no time for looking up or for looking in. There was no more time for God.
And so for many years I lived in an impoverished state, years when my life was not enriched by the wonder of God — years in which I understood far less about God than when I was a child.
My children are filled with wonder about God. They are asking many of the same questions I asked. They are hearing many of the same answers I heard and in some cases they are not getting answers at all.
In some cases I just sit and wonder with them and feel the warmth I knew as a child. That same warmth my grandparents must have felt on those occasions when we all just sat out on their front porch at night and marveled at the majesty of God. The warmth I knew when I was small and God was big!