I have found Him whom my soul loves!
James Smith, 1859
No healthy Christian can be happy without the presence of Christ. For what the sun is to the day, the moon to the night, or the rain to the soil—that is Jesus to the soul. What a day would be without the sun, or the night without the moon, or the earth without moisture, that would the soul of the believer be without Christ. And yet we often lose a sense of the presence of Jesus, and sin away the enjoyment of his love. As the church of old who retired to bed, when she should have been actively employed for him, and then complained, "By night on my bed, I sought him whom my soul loves, I sought him but I found him not." Jesus will not indulge idleness, nor sanction sloth. Therefore she had to arise, go about the city, and inquire of the watchmen, nor could she again enjoy his presence — until she had passed by them all, and then with a glad heart she exclaimed, "I found him whom my soul loves!" Song of Solomon 3:4.
Here is a pleasing fact, the lost Savior may be found; or the forfeited presence of Jesus may be regained. When convinced of our folly, when humbled under a sense of our sin, when sighing, and crying, with ardent longing, we seek him—then he will give us a fresh manifestation of his love—his great love. Again will he appear to us, disclosing the glories of his person, the beauty of his character, and the excellency of his salvation. Then we afresh perceive his glory, and beauty, and exact adaptation to us, and our love is drawn out to him anew.
Glorious as he appeared at first, every new manifestation of his grace seems to enhance his glory, and bring out some fresh and richer beauty. Then, our sense of our interest in him is sweetly renewed and deepened, and we claim him with confidence as our beloved, our Savior, and our friend. The heart glows with the richest enjoyment, the bosom heaves with ecstatic delight, and the soul overflows with the most pleasurable emotions. Oh, how precious is Jesus now! How wonderful his love. How glorious his grace. How tender his mercy. How efficacious his blood. How magnificent his righteousness. Christ, and everything in Christ—Christ, and everything connected with Christ—is unspeakably beautiful and glorious; so that we lack words to express our thoughts, and we lack thoughts to embody our feelings, which are exquisitely delightful. Who can describe the rapture of a soul, which has been walking in darkness, mourning for the Savior—but can now exclaim, "I have found him whom my soul loves!"
The delightful EFFECTS of it are many and various.
It gives us satisfaction: the desires find the object they have been seeking, the affections enjoy the richest feast, and the soul glides into a calm and delightful repose. We seem to want no more—but only the perpetuation and perfection of what we are now enjoying.
It produces tenderness. We become more cautious and careful, and avoid everything likely to grieve him, or disturb our enjoyment. We become more watchful over ourselves, and against temptations which may lead us astray.
We are more prayerful, spending more time with him alone, pouring out our hearts before him. And this tenderness of conscience, watchfulness of spirit, and prayerfulness of soul—will preserve and keep us from innumerable evils.
It awakens gratitude—deep and soul stirring gratitude. Such gratitude as inspires us with the strongest confidence, fills us with the warmest love, animates us with glowing zeal, and makes the soul eloquent in his praise.
It generates humility, deep and adoring humility. Humility, which makes us loveable, and fires us with love to all about us. Humility which fills us with profound admiration of the conduct and condescension of our Lord, and lays us in the dust at his feet. Humility, which inspires us with lofty expectations, of seeing more of his beauty, enjoying more of his presence, and of being ravished always with his love.
O the blessedness of finding that loved One again, and once more enjoying his presence, and the assurance of his love!
Believer, when Jesus is not enjoyed by you—he is not far from you. He only stands behind the wall. "My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice." Song of Songs 2:9. He is just beyond the watchmen. We are not far from finding him—when we feel and lament his absence. He will soon turn again, and have compassion upon us. If therefore you are seeking him, though discouraged for a time, press on, persevere—for you are sure to find him. "Everyone who seeks—finds."
The lost sinner who has never enjoyed his presence, if he seeks—will find; and the backslider who has sinned away his presence—shall have it restored again. Seek, seek then, for none can seek his face in vain.
When Christ is found after long seeking, and after deep searching of heart, he is more precious, than as if found at once. We value that most—which costs us most. We enjoy that most—which is only gained by much labor and effort. Never does the sun appear so bright, as after the long, cold, dreary night. Never is health so prized, as after a long season of painful sickness. Never is water so sweet, as when the tongue fails for thirst. Just so, never is Jesus so precious, as after the long night of guilt, gloom, and desertion. Never is Jesus so precious, as after we have suffered from broken bones, a wounded spirit, and a troubled conscience. Never is Jesus so precious, as when the fire of God's wrath has seemed to dry up our vital moisture, and the fiery law has almost brought us into the dust of death.
The trumpet of Jubilee, was not so sweet to the bankrupt Israelite; the act of emancipation, was never so delightful to the manacled slave; the proclamation of pardon, was never so precious to the doomed criminal, who expected to be executed in the morning; as is Jesus to the soul, when he manifests himself once more, after a long dreary season of desertion.
Reader! Are you seeking Jesus? Whatever may be your case, circumstances, or discouragements, never give up until you have found him. Find him you will, you must—if you seek for him with all your heart. And when you have found him, do not fear to own it, or neglect to acknowledge it—but in the language of the delighted spouse, exclaim, "I have found him whom my soul loves!"