When I was a little boy, a retired coal miner came to our church. He was very well known because he’d been to Buckingham Palace and the king had pinned a medal on his chest for bravery.

I asked him, “What did you do?”

He replied, “Well, I used to work in the coal mines. We’d get down in very small tunnels. One day I was working, and I heard a strange creaking. Stones began to fall, and I realized my men were going to be buried alive. But I was a big man, and I was able to brace myself in the tunnel and take the weight of the collapsing wooden beams just long enough for my men to crawl out—and we got them out alive. The king was very kind, and he thanked me and gave me this medal.”

Excited to meet such a hero, I asked him: “What was it like being in Buckingham Palace and meeting the king?”

He said, “I was frightened, and I didn’t feel at home. I just wanted to be in my little cottage overlooking the coal mines. But there was a young man standing next to the king who was perfectly at home. I thought, ‘Here am I—a big old man—and I’m uncomfortable here; and this young man is perfectly at ease.’ Then I realized he was the king’s son and he belonged in the palace.”

Then the old coal miner smiled and said to me, “Stuart, when you pray to your heavenly Father, always remember you belong there. But never lose a sense of His majesty.”

Jesus taught His disciples that you can approach God on an intimate basis, and you can come boldly like “a little child” going to his dad. But always remember that our Father in heaven is also the King. May we always give Him the utmost respect!