(adapted from Octavius Winslow's "Morning Thoughts")
"I the Lord search the heart." Jeremiah 17:10.
Solemn as is this view of the Divine character, the
believing mind finds in it sweet and hallowed repose.
What more consolatory truth in some of the
most trying positions of a child of God than
this; the Lord knows the heart.
The world condemns, and the saints may
wrongly judge, but God knows the heart.
And to those who have been led into deep discoveries
of their heart's hidden evil, to whom have been made
startling and distressing unveilings, how precious is
this character of God, "He that searches the heart!"
Is there a single recess of our hearts we
would veil from His penetrating glance?
Is there a corruption we would hide from His view?
Is there an evil of which we would have Him ignorant?
Mournful and humiliating as is the spectacle, we would
throw open every door, and uplift every window, and
invite and urge His scrutiny and inspection, making no
concealments, and indulging in no reserves, and framing
no excuses when dealing with the great Searcher of hearts,
exclaiming, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test
me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that
offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."
And while the Lord is thus acquainted with the evil of
our hearts, He most graciously conceals that evil from
the eyes of others. He seems to say, by His benevolent
conduct, "I see my child's infirmity." Then, covering it
with His hand, exclaims, "but no other eye shall see it,
but my own!" Oh, the touching tenderness, the loving
kindness of our God! Knowing, as He does, all the evil
of our nature, He yet veils that evil from human eye,
that others may not despise us as we often despise
ourselves. Who but God could know it? Who but God
would conceal it?
And how blessed, too, to remember that while God
knows all the evil, He is as intimately acquainted
with all the good that is in the hearts of His people!
He knows all that His Spirit has implanted;
all that His grace has wrought.
Oh encouraging truth!
That spark of love, faint and flickering;
that pulsation of life, low and tremulous;
that touch of faith, feeble and hesitating;
that low thought of self that leads a man to seek the shade;
that self-abasement that places his mouth in the dust;
oh, not one of these sacred emotions is unseen, unnoticed by God!
His eye ever rests with infinite complaisance and
delight on His own image in the renewed soul.