Deuteronomy 31:6 reads ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.’
Philippians 4:4 says ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’
Psalm 23:6 proclaims ‘Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.’
These three scriptures are just a few of many that I struggle with because of the authors’ word choice. Never, always and forever are words that I try to keep out of my vocabulary for various reasons but mostly because I don’t like the way that people use them.
My kids say things like ‘I ALWAYS have to sit in the back’, ‘I NEVER get the green cup’, and ‘she’s been looking at that book FOREVER’. But we adults are no better when it comes to the way that we use these words…
‘Summer will NEVER get here’, ‘ it’s ALWAYS so windy’, ‘this crazy weather is lasting F-O-R-E-V-E-R’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said my fair share of statements similar to these; but I still struggle with hearing these words too often and so I remind my kids, my friends, my family, and my parishioners that it’s all about perspective when they use words like ‘always’, ‘never’, and ‘forever’. But the other day while I was at the bus stop with my two oldest antibiotics online ireland waiting for the school bus, I was reminded about perspective about these words.
A 6 year old named ‘Alice’ came around the bushes from the corner of the parking lot like she does every morning to wait for the school bus…but this particular morning she came crying into my arms.
When the sobbing had slowed down enough for her to rub her nose on my shoulder I asked what the matter was and she sniffed and said, ‘I will NEVER see my mom again. My real mom I mean, she’s in jail and she’ll be there FOREVER because of her bad choices, she ALWAYS makes bad choices.’
*sigh* My three least favorite words, used in the most heart breaking way.
All I could do was hold that little girl and hope that she knew, or would soon learn that forever wouldn’t be as long as she thought, that always wouldn’t last her whole life and that never would come sooner than she hoped for.
Before the bus pulled up to pick up the kids at the stop I looked ‘Alice’ in the eyes and reminded her that never, always and forever are really strong words. She wiped her tears away and climbed up the steps to find her seat as I whispered a prayer that Christ would indeed ALWAYS hold that child and all others like her in his arms, NEVER forgetting a single one.
- Pastor Samantha Houser, Waukon Zion UCC and Program Staff/Adjunct Youth Iowa Conference