Read and be encouraged.
(Alexander Smellie, “The Secret Place” 1907)
“Do not come any closer! Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground!” Exodus 3:5
I have no need to go to the loneliness of Sinai to meet with God. I find holy ground much nearer home. But I wonder whether I take my sandals off of my feet.
God reveals Himself to me in His written Word. It is His sanctuary. By its agency, my deepest life is created, quickened, sustained. Listening to it, the saints have heard the very voice of their Lord. But do I reverence God by my frivolous use of the words of Scripture? And, whenever I open the Book, do I remember that God has breathed the Spirit of Life into its chapters and verses? Mine is culpable levity.
He reveals Himself in my history, as truly as ever He did in the history of Israel. In it, the devout heart will trace . . .
His perfect providence,
His stern hatred of sin,
His overflowing goodness.
Best of all, He reveals Himself in Christ. But if Christ brings Him close to me, He teaches me fresh reasons for standing in awe of Him.
His life shows me what God is–spotless, righteous, faithful, unflinchingly holy.
And His Cross has a more impressive message still. Here are God’s infinite gentleness and shoreless mercy. Side by side with these are God’s abhorrence of my iniquity, and His unconquerable justice. He is holy, holy, holy–even in the brightest and sweetest manifestation of His grace. Yet I do not always worship Him “with trembling hope and penitential tears.”
Not a day passes, that I am not standing in the courts of His house. Not a place can I visit, where the Spirit of glory and of God may not overshadow me. I pray for tenfold more thoughtfulness and adoration and humility.
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Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001