Always: At all times, invariably, uninterruptedly, without exception, forever. What else could one give? What more could one ask for? It is a gift that is not given lightly, and one whose impact far exceeds most others. Its power is rooted in two basic notions – it is unchanging and it is unending.
In those terms, it is easy to see that this, like every good thing in our world, is a gift to us from God. To be eternal is part of His nature, as shown in Genesis 1 and Matthew 28:20. He is unwavering in His commitment to us. The promise God makes to Solomon in 1 Kings 9:3 applies to us today. God promises Solomon, “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” As His living temple, we too bear His name upon our hearts, where He will dwell forever. Because of His continual presence in our lives, we can confidently know that He is at work in our lives, bringing us blessings and direction. Isaiah speaks of this when he says, “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
How fortunate we are to have a God whose love for us goes so deep! How fortunate we are to have such an inspiring model as this to help us in our own relationships. 1 Corinthians 13 is famous for its insights into love. Verse seven specifies four key elements of love in terms of always. “It [love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Again, this is merely following God’s lead, doing what He has instructed us to do. But as I consider those four elements, I am convinced that God is telling us that we must always do these four things in order to share a maximized lifetime of love with the person God brought into our lives. We must always work to protect them, to trust and to be trustworthy for them, to have hope in God’s promises for our lives, and to persevere through any challenge or difficulty we may face.
On our own, this task would prove difficult, if not impossible. But once again, we are reminded of God’s promise to always be there with us and for us in every situation. We can also take comfort knowing that in whomever we love, God has provided us a most worthy partner with whom these promises can be shared, grown, and harvested. By His strength, we can surrender our lives to Him and His will.
Our enduring prayer must be that He will continue to mold us not only into the man or woman He created us to be, but also into the person He has created for your beloved as well. To that end and by the power of His word in our lives, may we spend every day of our lives actively fostering a love that always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.