A Child of God!

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Business led me frequently, during a number of years, into a store in the chief thoroughfare of the city. The object of my calls was to see the head of the establishment, and passing through the store, I always went direct to his office beyond. Generally there were people about, and frequently some of the managers or workmen, so that I paid little attention to a young woman, who was always at one counter, where small wares were being retailed.
That she had been there for twelve or fifteen years I knew, and I had been accustomed to pass her hundreds of times without a word. I did not even know her name, and she appeared most uninteresting to me. I might have continued long enough passing her thus, but one day, as I walked along the street, a strange, new thought came to my mind: my conscience seemed to say,
“You have never spoken to that young woman about her soul. You might have done so, for you have had many opportunities; God may hold you responsible for them, and her blood may be on your head.”
Instantly excuses arose; perhaps she was all right, or if not, perhaps she would only resent my interference, as others had done; and after all, she seemed such an uninteresting, unattractive individual, and was always so busily engaged, besides it was difficult to introduce religion into business and stores. Still I could not get rid of the thought that I ought to speak to her on the subject of her soul’s salvation.
On the following day I made a determined effort. Stepping into the store, I went straight to her, and made a few inquiries, so as to open a conversation. She told me that she was the only person in the establishment at the moment.
“Now is your opportunity,” something seemed to say. I put a few questions to her about her friends, and soon found her very ready to tell me a sad tale of sorrow upon sorrow, which made me feel ashamed of myself, to think that, while that poor thing had been toiling on with a breaking heart, I had never even said a kind word to her, or expressed a tender feeling of sympathy!
I encouraged her to tell me her troubles, and sympathized with her, for at one time I had passed through the same grief, and could therefore speak of it feelingly.
When she had pretty well told me all that she cared to relate—for I know now that there were deep, keen sorrows she did not tell—I asked her if these things had made her feel that God was hard and unkind to her?
“No,” she said, “I believe that trouble and sorrow are sent for our good.”
“I am glad you say so,” I replied, “for sometimes the heart gets hardened against God through these things, although I believe God would make affliction a means of drawing us to Himself. Many have had to say, ‘Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept Thy Word.’” (Psa. 119:6767Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. (Psalm 119:67)).
She assented to this, and I felt emboldened to ask,
“Has your sorrow brought you to God?”
This question seemed to puzzle her a little, not knowing what I meant by being brought to God, and she answered she hoped it had made her serious and thoughtful.
“I have no doubt it has had that effect,” I said; “but what I mean is, have you been led to seek the salvation of your soul through it?”
“I cannot say that I am saved,” she replied, “but I have been seeking salvation, and thinking very earnestly about it for some time.”
“Indeed,” I said, “I am very glad to hear you say so, for I believe the Saviour’s Word, that they who seek shall find, and I know you will be no exception. I suppose you believe, as I do, that except we are born again, we cannot enter heaven?”
“Yes,” she answered, “I know that; and the fact that I am not born again, often causes me great anxiety.”
“Did your mother die in the Lord?” I inquired; the question suddenly suggesting itself.
“O, yes,” she replied, “and I gave her promises which I have tried to fulfill.”
“And,” I interposed, “one of them was to meet her in heaven, I dare say, and, before you can do that, she knew, and you know, as well as I do, that you must be born again.”
She admitted the truth of this, and I said,
“‘Well, Miss I—, I was once just in the same position as you are today. I had beloved friends in heaven, and I wanted to be sure that I would meet them, while the thought of spending eternity shut out from them, and shut in with the vilest of men and devils, was to me most revolting. I would have given anything to be saved, but what to do I knew not.”
“O,” she said with a sigh, “that is just how I feel,” and, she added, “on Sunday last I heard a sermon upon the words, ‘The time is short,’ and it just cut me up, and made me feel that it was perhaps too late already.”
As she uttered these words, she gazed wistfully away into the street, through eyes suffused with tears. That face with its sad expression, those eyes with their big tears, and the last words, “perhaps it is too late,” were just as earnest a cry from the bitterness of as deeply a troubled heart as that of the Philippian jailor,
“What must I do to be saved?”
“Miss I—,” I said, “listen to me for one moment. God has so loved us as to give His well-beloved Son to be our Saviour; you know that don’t you?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“And the Son of God has loved you, and me, and given Himself for us,” I continued, “dying on the cross that we might have life eternal; you know that? Yes! Well then, all the work is done that was required that our sins might be purged away, and God beseeches us to be reconciled to Him, and to come to His bosom, because Christ has fully paid our debt, and has become Himself the way unto the Father. Now I have myself accepted God’s salvation; I have received Christ, and eternal life through Him; and you know that as many as receive Him become children of God?”
“Yes,” she replied, “He says so.”
“Then I come to you today, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and beseech you to be reconciled to a loving God and Father. Now suppose for a moment that not I, but the blessed Lord Jesus Himself stood beside you, and asked you,
“‘Will you receive Me as your Saviour and Lord, will you let Me cleanse away your sins, and make your heart My dwelling place?’ If He who loved you, and died for you, came and thus pleaded with you, saying, ‘Do you now receive Me as your own dear loving Saviour?’ What would be your answer to Him?”
“I do,” she answered, closing her tearful eyes.
“I know you mean it,” I said.
“O, yes! with all my heart, I take Jesus to be my Saviour; I have often wished I could do it; I do so now.”
“Then,” I said, “my dear Miss I—, what do I become when I receive Jesus?”
“A child of God,” she answered.
“And who thus become children of God?” I asked.
“As many as receive Him,” she replied.
“Then,” I said, “suppose someone were to come into this store, and ask you, ‘Have you received Christ?’ what would you answer?”
“I should say, Yes; I have received Christ,” she replied earnestly.
“And if another were to come in and say, ‘Miss I—, are you a child of God?’ what would you say?”
Her face beamed through her tears, with a ray of heaven’s own light, as she exclaimed,
“Yes! yes! O, yes! He says it. I, too, am a child of God.”
“And you won’t be ashamed to confess Him now, will you?” I asked.
“O, no!” she replied, “I am so happy to think that I have Him as my own Saviour, that I shall be only too glad to tell it.”
After a little more conversation, we parted, with a mutual “God bless you.” I said to myself as I passed down the street,
“It is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in mine eyes!”
And now that once sad heart rejoices in Christ and His salvation.
“Jesus Christ: whom not having seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:88Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)).