Always. Big word.
Love always protects. It doesn’t have bad days that make the hearts of those around us fair game to our anger, self-pity or our need to be first.
Love always trusts. When everything shakes. When everything hurts. When nothing and no one can be trusted. Love trusts the goodness and the sovereignty of God. Always.
Love always hopes. It doesn’t wring its’ hands in anxiety, it waits with expectation that God will be good no matter how hopeless things look.
Love always perseveres. It doesn’t walk away when things get hard. It keeps on keeping on because it knows it will be worth every struggle, every tear, every bit of dying to self it had to do.
Love never fails. It doesn’t fall away, back off or back down. Love holds its’ position at all times. Love never fails to be love.
But here it is. We will not know this kind of love as long as we are the center of our lives. While it’s about us, we will not experience an always kind of love. We will have to fight and scratch and beg to get something that doesn’t even come close. And we will settle for close enough. We will settle for love that protects on good days, trusts until it feels insecure, hopes until things look hopeless and will not stick around for the hard parts. Love that fails to always be love.
We will not only settle for receiving that kind of love, but giving that kind of love.
If we want to know this always love that changes everything, changes us, changes the atmosphere, changes lives…Jesus must come first. Our lives will have to be about Him always. After the worship service and sermon are long over. When no one else is watching. When we feel like everything is under our control, going well, coming together. When we are criticized. When the money runs out. In sickness and in health.
Jesus can’t just be our everything when our everything else is going wrong.
When what we do, speak, live, is for Jesus, we will know His always love and it will overflow from us into a world that has settled for so much less. They may never know the dying we had to do to always love them. They won’t know how hard we had to wrestle our flesh to the ground while asking God to make us like Him. That’s ok. They’ll know what God wants them to know.
There is an always Love pursuing them, and they don’t have to settle for less.