Always and Forever

by Andy Wood on September 28, 2009

in Five LV Laws, Life Currency, Love, Photos, Principle of Eternity

Carved into the side of one of my favorite places in the world – Deer Bluff, near the family farm in Alabama… 

That brings up a thought:

Ever seen something like this carved in a rock or a tree (or written on a bathroom wall or somebody’s notebook)?

J.S. + E.J. = Tru Luv 4 Ever.

Without bothering to even ask whether you ever wrote something like that, I wonder where J.S. and E.J. are now?  I wonder how “tru” their “luv” is today?  I wonder if “4 Ever” really meant 4 days, or 4 weeks?  

Then again, who knows?  J.S. and E.J. may be J.S. and E.S. today, with four kids, three pets, two cars, and a nice mortgage.  Maybe there was more than just “4” in their “4 Ever.”

Forever.  Yet another of those charming words we overuse and undervalue.  Often said in the extremes of emotion, for many of us “forever” only means until we calm down or come up for air.  And yet we do live in a world of certainties, where words like “forever” and “always” really mean something.  Trouble is, because of the ways we so often water it down, sometimes we lose the force of forever when it’s the real thing.

Heaven is forever, and so are its promises.  No more sickness.  Forever.  No more pain.  Forever.  No more crying.  Forever.  Endless joy.  Everlasting peace.  Unbridled love.  Forever.

Hell is forever, too.  There is no break.  No time off for good behavior.  No vacations, no change of heart, no second chances.  No probation.  No political strings to be found anywhere that will fix everything.

“Friends are friends forever, when the Lord’s the Lord of them” – that’s what Michael sings.  Sorry, Buddy.  Love ya’, and want to grab a butane lighter and hold it up whenever I hear that.  But I’m not sure I agree with that.  Friends – even the real kind – come and go.  That said, I do believe in forever friends.  But they require a heck of a lot of work, and time, and grace, and patience, and deep understanding – more than most people in this culture (even Christians) are willing to extend to their spouses, let alone a friend.  But I do believe it’s possible to say “always” and “forever” and mean it with that select friend or two.  And I do believe there is a friend – a covenant partner – who sticks closer than a brother.

Jesus.  He’s forever, too.  His kingdom (that’s us) is forever.  No one can usurp His authority.  No one will ever again challenge his place as King of kings and Lord of lords.  And regardless of the political forces that ebb and flow across the history of the world, the kingdom He has established will never die.

His power is forever.  Think about it.  The same power that spoke the worlds into existence, the power that stilled the raging storms with a single command, and yet during the worst of their fury could walk upon the water.  The power that fed the five thousand and brought life back from the dead – that power is just as real, and just as present in you, if you’re His child.

His glory is forever.  There is never a time that He stops being glorious.  His beauty doesn’t tarnish with age, nor is it soiled by the unfaithfulness of His people.  He is still glorious, whether we reflect that or not.

The word of God is forever.  And forever it is settled in Heaven.  The Holy Spirit will abide in us forever.  By one offering (on the cross) those who are being sanctified have been perfected forever.  Those who do the will of God live forever. And He promises that the faithful shall reign with him.  Forever.

In a world in which today’s sacred institutions become tomorrow’s has-beens, where today’s heroes become tomorrow’s villains, it’s nice to know that sometimes, when Somebody says “always” and “forever,” they actually mean it.  The good news is, He does say it.  And He does mean it.  

Always.

Forever.

(Enjoy a little “forever” celebration in the video below.)

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