(Alexander Smellie, “The Secret Place” 1907) LISTEN to audio! Download audio (excerpts)
“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven!” Matthew 18:3
I look into the face of the child. There are no hard and haughty lines of pride; there is no blatant self-importance in the features. Humility is written there.
Can I get back my vanished humility? I can. God the Spirit creates it when, in my conversion, He shows my sinfulness, and teaches me to abhor my vile self! And He fosters meekness more and more, as He confirms in me the conviction that not for a moment dare I dispense with my Savior and Keeper and Friend.
I survey the mind of the child. It is teachable. It is well aware of its ignorance, and it hungers and thirsts for knowledge of every description. And is there a mind anywhere, that God has touched, which does not feel itself in the presence of . . .
problems still to be disentangled,
mysteries waiting to be unfolded,
great tracts of truth of which it knows little?
I have parted with the delusion of my own wisdom.
Therefore I sit like a child at the feet of my great Prophet, Christ!
I peer into the imagination of the child. It lives in a realm of marvels. But as I grow older, I pass out of the magical country. But when I experience the miracles of saving grace, they are more extraordinary than the marvels I have left behind in childhood. My sense of wonder and astonishment are reborn!
I remember the affections of the child. They are the shrine of love—unbounded and enthusiastic outspoken love. But by and by, I am less frank and more reticent. Convention, if not cynicism, has frozen the love-look in the eyes, and the love-speech on the tongue.
Is there anything that will break the ice?
Yes, the sight of God’s love and grace in Christ will!
That brings me back to the spring.
That makes my heart grateful, devoted, and affectionate.
I note the hand of the child. It is not tremulous and worried. Because It trusts,
it lies in the father’s hand, certain that the father will lead it aright.
Just so, to the same peace and unruffled faith, the new birth should conduct me. Confiding in my adorable Redeemer and Heavenly Father, I ought to have no gloomy fears about either my temporal or my eternal well-being. My feeble hand lies in His; His omnipotent hand is clasped around mine!
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