There is such assurance in that word. Always. Not temporarily, not for the moment, not while it feels good, or its convenient, or I’ve got nothing better to do but always.
It’s not a word we toss around lightly. It’s not a word that we even feel comfortable saying. It requires commitment and loyalty, vulnerability and resolve. Not just because I have to, or because you’ve asked – but because it is – always.
Always. We long for it. There’s not a human on this planet that doesn’t crave to hear that word. But, we want to hear it from lips that are sincere, dedicated, and trustworthy. We want the follow through, the action that speaks the essence of the word – always.
It isn’t pretty. Never. It’s riddled with fear and speculation. It’s usually the visceral response to a jilted always. I’ll never trust him again. I never want to see her again. I’ll never let that happen again. Never … Again. A compromised always.
Never is spoken through clinched teeth and a wounded spirit. Never! It’s a word of protection and isolation – keeping us further and further from healing and freedom and gripping us tighter in fear and anger. It’s a word cancer that threatens to kill our hope. A dangerous utterance that binds us to desperation.
But, there is an always you can trust – it’s an always that is dedicated and endures the tests of time and space, an always that speaks forever out of eternal lips that know exactly how epic that is; “I am with you always.” It’s not temporary or flippant; it is steadfast and resolved – always.
And, there is a never that doesn’t make your heart ache, a never that doesn’t come from the whisper of a scared victim cautious of the next assault. It is a never that speaks safety and hope, not borne of human walls; “I will never leave you or forsake you.” It’s a courageous, arms wide, passionately loving never.
He is your always and your never. The thing that you need most, the answer to your longings, the safety you’ve been looking for. He is.
His never comes with a guarantee. He will never suck you in and spit you out. He will never make light of your vulnerability, and He will never misuse your trust.
His always comes with a promise. He will always be by your side. He will always love you. He will always protect you.
He won’t ever compromise those two things. Ever. It would compromise His character, and He could never do that. It’s hard to understand, too good to be true, too amazingly hopeful…yes. But, He is “Always” here and “Never” leaving, and good enough to be perfectly trusted! Christ is!