(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)
“Whoever humbles himself like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:4
It is very sweet just to nestle down into the heart of Christ–to be as a little child with Him. Those who come otherwise do not get near to Him–but the child-like always find a close place in His heart. So the more like children we can be in our trust and in the simplicity of our faith, in humbleness of disposition, in willingness to do His will and to learn of Him–the nearer to Him shall we get, and the more shall we enjoy of His love.
Some years ago, as I was passing along one of our streets one afternoon, I heard a fluttering of birds over my head and, looking up, saw a little bird flying wildly about in circles, chased by a hawk! The bird flew down lower and lower, and then darted under my coat.
I cannot quite express to you the feeling which filled my heart at that moment–that a little bird, chased by an enemy, had come to me for refuge, trusting me in times of danger. I laid my hand over the bird, which nestled quietly and confidently under my coat, carried the little thing along for several blocks until I thought the way was clear of danger, and then let it out. It flew away into the air again but showed no fear of me. Ever since that experience, I have understood better what it is to fly into the heart of Christ for refuge and safety in times of danger, or in times of distress.
All this helps me to understand better what it means to Jesus when we, hunted and chased by enemies, or suffering from weakness or pain–fly to Him and hide ourselves in His love.
That is all we need to do–just to nestle into the heart of Christ, and lie down there, with no fear, no anxiety, but with simple trust.
The lines of Wesley’s old hymn have meant more to me ever since:
“Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to Thy heartbeat fly,
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide;
Oh, receive my soul at last.
Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me.
All my trust in Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.”
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