“So, why do you love Jesus?” Recently, at a residential Christian retreat with some amazing women, we were all asked this question and given a few minutes to compose our answers before we responded. You may think these minutes should not be needed; any Christian should be able to answer this question automatically. Jesus died on the cross for us, that alone is reason enough and more. There are a thousand scriptural truths, hundreds of well-rehearsed ‘church sayings’ that provide any number of answers. We sing them, we say them, they infuse our prayers and our worship, so why would we need any time to respond?
Consider, dear friend, how would you respond? Would a look of joy begin to creep across your face, as you recall the secret places in which you have discovered the beauty of His touch and presence in your life, the answered prayers, the times spent recognising and acknowledging His presence, or would you also find yourself drawing on well-rehearsed religious lines? Would you smile and blush, like a new bride or groom asked the same question about their beloved, or would you stop for a minute, slightly caught unawares? For many Christians, the Song of Solomon is a slightly uncomfortable and risqué part of the Bible – the intimacy of the words almost too racy to describe the love between a believer and his/her Lord – yet I am discovering that this is an intimate relationship, a deeply personal one. It is one of amazing, immeasurable love and joy, one in which we are infused with a power and a sense of belonging that is beyond anything else we have ever known or will know. It is a connection to the very essence of our being, our very soul. It is love indescribable, because Jesus is Love Indefinable.
As I spent time with the Holy Spirit, writing the words of my book, Seven Days With His Love Within, I was ‘re-introduced’ to the depths of that love, and awakened to the power that comes with it. ‘Re-introduced’, because my soul always knew it, I was made in this love, fashioned by it and my soul knew it very well (Psalm 139) but, in the travails of the world, it had become a distant memory, its loss almost too painful to deal with, an absence I could not explain or understand. The pain of a troubled childhood, the struggles, disappointments, failures, knocks and hurts had masked the truths that had been etched across my soul before I was born. With each tear, lie and doubt that had separated us, each minute and mile, the power that He had planted within me, His very birth gift to me had flickered and waned, and I had become lost. I had searched yearned, longed for the one thing that would re-energise my soul and connect me to the very Source of my being, and then He found me…I found Him and He came and became, once again, the Love that dwells within.
So now I am discovering the power of His love; I am discovering the importance of being still and knowing the peace that comes from understanding that His peace comes not in the absence of strife and troubles but, rather, in the assurance that whatever happens, I am His and safe in His arms. I am discovering the freedom that comes from knowing that I am seated with Him in heavenly places and that, seated beside Him, watching the world through the beauty of His presence, people, places and things take on a different meaning, a new significance and understanding. I am learning how much power there is in love over hate, joy over sadness, forgiveness over resentment, peace-making over trouble stirring, humility over pride. I am learning the power of the servant King and that He lives within me.
As we depart our childhood, we carry lots of ‘stuff’ with us. I often imagine our souls are like houses with many rooms, cluttered with boxes that contain the memories we pick up along the way: the good stuff, the bad stuff and the stuff that is just ‘stuff’! There are rooms we spend too much time in, those we never go into at all due to fear, dread or because we have found it easier to forget what lies behind those doors. In my book, I call one of my rooms the ‘Martha Room’ – a room in which I spend too much time fretting and worrying about the future, the past and the present.
Yet, as my relationship with Jesus has grown, so has the power and the desire to spring clean those rooms flourished and, like a bride discovering an unexpected gift in her new sumptuous home, I am beginning to discover new rooms in the house of my own heart, rooms in which He has designed the decor, chosen the colours, built the furniture. These are rooms in which I reflect the joy, faith, peace and glory that come from knowing Him.
It’s my turn to answer the question, and I turn to my fellow sisters in Him and smile…Why do I love Him? I love Him because He is my all; He brought light into a world that was dark; His love has meant I have am learning to touch rainbows, discovering new places in my heart, learning the power of a spiritual spring clean. I have been forgiven and have learnt how to forgive; I have been restored, redeemed and renewed. I love Him because in Him I am filled with power that comes from knowing His love…He is and will always be the Love Within Me.
Jennifer Izekor’s book, ‘Seven Days with His Love Within’, is published now and available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and The Book Depository, £5.99 published by Zaccmedia