Never.

Never will I leave you;

Never will I forsake you.

Hebrews 13:5

Never.

About a week ago, God velcroed this word to my brain soon after I’d allowed my gray matter to wallow in the muck of untruth, believing the opposite of what He has clearly promised. Daring to suggest that He’d forsaken me when I know that I know that I know He has not. 

Since before the creation of all there is, He never has. 

And never will.

Still, I nursed the unholy whine… 

I feel so forsaken.

Duly rebuked, I begged forgiveness.

Then, like a bad boyfriend, the lament called again.

I feel so forsaken.

God in His kindness answered back with what sounded like a heaven-sent, baritone voice.

I will never leave you or forsake you.

Never.

This precious promise was not a newsflash. I’d read it in Hebrews several years ago in a Bible given to me as a gift for high school graduation. I’d just forgotten.

Imagine.

I took that Bible again and flipped it open, awed that I’d opened right to Hebrews.

The exact chapter.

The exact verse.

In the bottom right corner, my eyes landed on the word, NEVER. All caps.

Gripped by the Spirit of God, I sat silent. Then fixed my gaze on Jesus’ full face, His steady stance on the surface of the water, His hand outstretched amid fierce winds and choppy waves. Undisturbed by the storm, Jesus assured me…

Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.

The cool thing about the word never is that only God can make that promise.

Try as I might to promise I’ll never do or say things I ought not to do or say, I will let others down.

Comes with being human.

Limited, subject to mood swings, mental and emotional track changes, far too easily unraveled by present circumstances. 

In Jen Wilkin’s book None Like Him, Get it on Amazon here she aptly says,

When we apply the terms always or never to other people, we speak an untruth. Human beings don’t always or never anything…As finite and mutable creatures, we cannot lay claim to these terms…They can only truly be spoken of God. 

Only God is never. Only God is always. I can’t be either.

 

Which makes me officially off the hook in that I am not ‘never on time’ or ‘always late’ — contrary to what others have alleged. With that, I rest my case and rejoice in the unchanging truth…

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

Do you need to be assured He will never forsake you? How has it helped you to know He is always there?

14 Comments

  1. Stacey says:

    Beautiful reminder.

  2. Dawn Kinzer says:

    Thanks for these encouraging words, Mary!

  3. Emily Conrad says:

    Ha, an unexpected ending–we’re not “always late.” 😉 But, a beautiful truth, too. Thanks for sharing the verse and how God has used it!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      Just be sure and tell those well-meaning in your life, “No, I am not always (fill in the blank) or never (fill in the blank)” Thanks for sharing, Emily 🙂

  4. Kelly says:

    This was a great post for me right now. I have a tendency to think in terms of “never” and “always.” This is the only never I should focus on! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jerusha Agen says:

    I love this reminder, Mary, and the hope and confidence it brings. Great point that only God can accurately guarantee He will “never” do something, including never leave us. I wonder if that’s what makes this promise so difficult for us to believe and remember–we’re used to ourselves and other people, and we mistakenly think that “never” is impossible even for God. But if He says never, it means never. Thank you for this reminder today, that I can rest in this astounding promise that He will ALWAYS be with me because He will NEVER leave me!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      It does bring hope and confidence. We do believe we can ‘never’ and ‘always’ don’t we? Glad to know we’re off the hook for being expected to do the impossible.

  6. Jerusha Agen says:

    Love this reminder, Mary! I wonder if it’s hard for us to remember and believe God’s promises because, like you say, we and other people aren’t capable of “never” and “always,” so we have a hard time comprehending and trusting that God IS more than capable of keeping such promises. But when God says “never,” He means it! Thanks for this reminder of the amazing promise that God is and will forever be ALWAYS with me because He will NEVER leave me!

    • Mary Felkins says:

      It’s a simple but powerful word. I’m thankful He impressed it on my heart and mind when I needed the reminder. Blessings to you, Jerusha 🙂

  7. HE never ceases to amaze me with how HE gives us confirmation and encouragement.
    Great post.
    Good luck and God’s blessings
    PamT

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