Sometimes, I get words in my head that I can’t seem to get rid of. You take, for example, the word ‘always.’
Always is another way of saying, ‘all the time,’ for most people. I could say I always take the same route to work. I’ve noticed that I always put my left shoe on first, and then my right shoe, too. I always eat the best piece of chicken (which is always the wing) last. I always eat the wing last. I always take my shower in the morning, rather than at night.
There are so many things I always notice, too. I’ve been married a long time, and my wife always makes our bed in the morning. When she cooks supper in the evening, if we’re having pork chops? She always has apple sauce or cooked apples with the pork chops, because, well, just because that’s the way she always does it.
And at church on Sunday mornings, some people always sit in the same seat. In most churches these days, they always stand to sing. But, I have been in churches where they don’t stand to sing until they sing the last verse of the song. And then, they always stand.
How about you? How about ‘always’ in your life? What do you notice that always happens? I find it interesting that when I use the word ‘always.’ I don’t mean ‘always.’ What I really mean is “usually.” That’s the way I most often do something. Usually. There are in fact very few instances when the word ‘always’ applies to what is being declared.
The psalmist, David used the word ‘always’ more than any other writer in the bible. And even he struggled with how he used that word. For example, in Ps. 16, he says ‘I keep my eyes always on the Lord ….” But he couldn’t possibly mean that, could he? When he stood on his balcony looking over at Bathsheba while she bathed, he wasn’t keeping his eyes always on the Lord, was he? There’s no question that David loved God fiercely, and was determined to let the focus of his heart and his life be God. And on most days, and in most ways, David was an incredible example and pattern for life with a heart after God. But he didn’t always live up to that reputation. He lived a life that was usually filled with praise to God, a life dedicated to serving God. But there is a marked difference between ‘usually’ and … always.
Always is an absolute word. And in life there are so few absolutes. In fact, the only absolutely absolute in this world is God, himself. God who is the God of Always. And if there was ever something I desperately need as an anchor and fortress for my life, it is the God of Always.
God always loves me, even when I don’t always act like I love him.
God always knows the plan, even when I don’t always know which way to turn.
Jesus is the God of Always. He is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.
“For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises ….” (Ps. 145:13) Thank God for the God of Always.