Don’t Settle—Ever!

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end. -Psalm 48:14

I will never forget you.

Have you ever heard someone pledge to you that you’d be in their heart for ever and ever? The world may come to an end but their love or friendship is going to last until the end of time. Sounds like some popular, country-western song. And it sounds good to our ears when we hear such things. But it takes a few, short years to discover that such human pledges, based upon the best of intentions, are about as valuable as the wisdom we find in a fortune cookie. “Don’t forget, you’re always on my mind.”

But we want such words to be true because there’s something in each one of us that yearns for that kind of forever love, that unchanging, pure friendship and unbreakable loyalty. We may hope that we can find that in our human relationships, but in time we discover that in this life we can find only an approximation of it. And in many cases, we’re surprised how fast our closest friends, and even what we’re convinced is the love of our life, change almost overnight, without even an explanation. “______ just walked out of my life.”

This has always been true. A great philosopher wrote that it’s possible to wake up one morning and find that your friends are no longer your friends, and you may never discover why. Have you been there?

This is something we need to know. It’s in despair that we discover life’s most valuable lesson: the wobbly, zigzag, lighter-than-air commitments and pledges of human beings underscore the vast difference between them and the absolute and unwavering love and loyalty of our Creator. He will be our friend and guide to the very last day of our lives—and all the way into eternity. We needn’t live in the fear that people will turn away from us, for they (we) are weak and undependable, but God will still be there next to us when our last friend goes AWOL.

So if you’ve been stunned by the unexpected departure of that lifelong friend or that ultimate love, then read again Isaiah 49:15: “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you.

We find what we long for and seek all through life in one source—the God who made us. And he made us with this longing (this obsession) for real love—true, unwavering loyalty, the kind that sticks with us through think and thin. Yes, we can find what appears like that, or something close to it, in fallen human beings (even that is a gift from God), but when it comes to the full, complete reality that meets our heart’s needs, it has to be what God offers to us.

And when, one day, we encounter those human relationships that are the real thing, we enjoy them with gratitude toward the God who created them and brought them into our lives. Behind each one of them is the guiding and gifting hand of our eternal friend.  In the meantime, don’t settle (ever!) for anything less.

Prayer for Today:

Lord God, it doesn’t take long to lift my eyes off of you and put my trust in someone who can’t be as loyal as you are. Keep me focused on your eternal, unchanging character and enable me to accept myself and other people for what we are. Amen.


Photo by damien_p58 via Flickr

John I. Snyder
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