As you know, dealing with questions from children can sometimes be difficult. They aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions–questions that adults won’t ask. Maybe we should listen to them more often.
I received the following e-mail from Bro. Warren Vanhetloo and thought it might be helpful to someone:
A local pastor wrote in our paper about a niece asking him, “Why can’t I see God?” He talked with her about it briefly, but didn’t try to answer her question. He knew if he gave the obvious answer, “Because He’s invisible,” her response would be, “Why is He invisible?” In the article, he never did reveal how he might someday try to answer her. Would any of our pat answers satisfy her? How do you find some likeness to use when in all creation there is nothing else “like” God? One of the names God uses concerning Himself might be as good as anything we might come up with. God has made Himself known as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The word for spirit is often used of the wind or of a breath. A child can comprehend that a breath is real although it cannot be seen. We can blow on something and see the result of the invisible breath at work. We can hear and feel the wind. Strong winds can do great damage. We do not see the wind, though we may spot things the wind is carrying along. We behold the effects of movement of the wind, but we do not see the wind itself. That’s the nature of it. That’s what it is and how it works. When a child gets a little older, comparison to radio and TV waves in the air can help to comprehend that something can be real and not be visible. We are quite accustomed to tuning a radio or selecting a TV station. The “tool” for talking with God is prayer. He tells us that He always hears and that He always wants to help. We won’t actually see Him work or hear Him when He answers, but we will see the way in which He works. Then it’s important that we thank Him for hearing us and helping us. Sometimes size impresses children. God is too big for this universe. He is everywhere present throughout the universe, including all the stars, and yet His greatest presence is outside this universe, in the place He calls “heaven.” Angels there can see Him, for they are sinless spirit beings and they can see God truly, for He is Spirit. God promises us that some day we shall see Him. If we trust Him to forgive our sins, He will take us to be with Himself through all eternity, and we will then be able to see Him. Now, sin hinders our spiritual sight. When we are fully cleansed of all sin, we shall behold Him who is perfect and glorious. One special truth needs to be emphasized for children (and for all of us), that, although God is everywhere and is invisible, He chooses, when we accept Jesus as personal Savior, to dwell within each believer. That indwelling is realized as He is able to guide our desires, our choices, our actions. He that is the Light of the world makes each one of us tiny shining candles to benefit others we live with and meet throughout life.