I was recently on a trip which required flying. I enjoy airports and airplanes, seeing people from all over and wondering who they are, where they are going, and what their lives are like. I gaze out from the terminal windows at the large planes and am impressed with human accomplishments and technology. The fact we can travel such great distances so quickly through the sky never ceases to amaze me.
But flying always reminds me of something: God is bigger than me. Psalm 8 begins with David noting how “majestic” God is, both in and over, the earth. He has “set his glory above the heavens.” This truth is foundational for life. He is God. I am not. Flying reminds me of just how “big” we really are. Mankind seeks and receives glory in many places: in a family name, career, accomplishments, or possessions. Someone might be “famous” in certain circles yet anonymous on a flight, in the airport, or another part of the world. The size of one’s bank account, portfolio, trophy case, house, influence or ego does not matter at thirty-thousand feet above the earth. Man discovered the laws of physics, but God created those laws. Mankind may own billions of dollars, but “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Pslam 24:1). People may cultivate the earth, but God created the earth. Just one glimpse out from an airplane window is a timely reminder of just how small and vulnerable we truly are.
When David reflected on God’s greatness he wrote, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4). Even though each person is small and insignificant, David noticed something amazing. Resting in God’s greatness and remembering our smallness does not lead to despair but rejoicing! That means you and I are “nobodies” but can be “happy nobodies” when we rest in God as the ultimate Somebody! Psalm 8:5-8 reminds us that in God’s authority He has given us great responsibility on the earth! We are accountable to Him.
A second thing I am reminded of while flying is God knows me! The president does not know me. Neither do world leaders, celebrities or even the governor. That’s okay. Many people cannot even recall celebrities or world leaders’ names! If honest, we can admit we are all pretty insignificant. Some may encourage us by urging that we boost our self-esteem. What we really need is “God-esteem!” God-esteem is rejoicing in Him, being satisfied in Him, and being most concerned about His name, fame, and opinion.
If God knows you, that’s all that matters. Sadly, the Bible reveals God does not “know” everybody. In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus said although many people do many good things, at God’s judgment they will hear, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” John 1:10-13 reveals why. Jesus came into the world He made, yet the world “did not know Him” and many people “did not receive Him.” Fortunately the text reveals who God knows. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” If you have repented of your sin and received Jesus’ in faith you are His child and He knows you.Wow. Knowing, and being known by God is true significance!
Dr. Chris Larmoyeux is the pastor at First Baptist Church Maumelle. He and his wife, Tonya, live in Maumelle with their three children. You can email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.