God often speaks to me through pictures! In fact, I've discovered that the clarity of His thoughts towards me intensifies as I reflect on the images He brings to my mind. One memorable example of this is a quiet time I had in John Chapter 3. I came to the part where John the Baptist pointed to Jesus and told his disciples, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” I paused at that statement, and started imagining what it would look like for God to increase in my life, taking more and more room in my heart, as my own worries and fears and awareness of self took a back seat. I thought of Jesus growing larger in my line of sight, blocking out all other thoughts, and then a memory stirred in my mind.
In a scene from the movie Apollo 13, three astronauts are trying to land their damaged ship back on earth after a catastrophic accident. Capt. Jim Lovell, played by Tom Hanks, is on the radio, trying to get the critical reentry procedures from Mission Control. The scene is a tense one, with everyone desperately aware that they are running out of time to safely implement a plan. After peering anxiously out the small window at his side; a view of the earth looming large in the center, Lovell pleads with the team in Houston to act. In a voice tinged with exhaustion and barely contained tension, he says, "We’re all a little tired up here. The world’s getting awfully big in the window.”
That line, and that image of the earth in the astronaut’s window, gave me a visual picture of my relationship with Jesus. As I get closer and closer to the things that are most important in my life, they loom larger in my window. They become all that I see and I order my life around those things. If the challenges of life are all I focus on, then they take up my whole window. I see nothing but the problem, and the more I focus on it, the bigger it gets. I draw closer to the problem and, as it fills my window, it blocks my view of Christ. On the other hand, if my focus is on Him then He is what fills my view. What I focus on is what I will see.
I want Jesus to fill my window. So I made some notes in my journal: "Keep looking up. Keep my eyes on Him, even when the world looms large in the window. Tell Him, 'Lord Jesus, You are completely trustworthy. I will put my faith in you.' Make a conscious choice to replace thoughts of self with thoughts of Him. When He is all that I see, then I’ll find peace, no matter what the circumstances."