“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela, President, South Africa
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela No one is more qualified to make that kind of statement than a man who was brutally imprisoned for 27 years fighting to take down the destructive and racist system of apartheid only to ultimately emerge as the President of the Country that imprisoned him!
Always is an interesting word. It is a superlative descriptor with a zero-sum nature. It implies that there has never been a time when what has been stated was untrue or in question. The adverb ALWAYS is about time and repetition. Always has multiple meanings: at all times, on all occasions; throughout a long period of the past; and for all future time forever. When we are talking about relationships with our spouse or children we often use always to infer something repeated and annoying. E.g. “You always leave your clothes on the floor.” The word always can also mean as a last resort; or failing all else, “If I am laid off from this job, I can always get another one.” Have you ever used the word always when you didn’t really mean it? Always and never cam be hyperbolic words -making claims that are exaggerated and not usually meant.
Abraham Lincoln made a poignant statement in the heat of the Civil War that we all should really consider, “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
Scripture gives us some admonitions that contain the word always. Paul in Ephesians 4:2 says, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” The Apostle Peter wrote, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (1 Peter 3:15) These comforting and powerful last instructive words from Christ, the Great Commission, also include the word always,19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)