Love Never Fails

Murphy’s Law states that everything that can go wrong will. I don’t think it’s true, but the law seems to describe 2020 quite well. As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough, we’ve faced murder hornets, wildfires, political tension, and economic uncertainty. In the words of one witty meme: “I don’t know about y’all, but I could really use some precedented times.” 2020 has reminded us how quickly things can change.

The apostle Paul predicted that life as we know it simply wouldn’t last. “As for prophecies, they will pass away… as for knowledge, it will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:8, ESV). Paul knew what God had revealed to the prophet Daniel about the future. Every earthly kingdom and political power would eventually end (see Daniel 2). According to Paul, what would be left of reality? Love. “Love never fails,” he wrote. Some translations render this as, “Love never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:8, ESV).

2020 has reminded us how quickly things can change.

Pain ends. Love doesn’t. Leaders fail. Love doesn’t. Loneliness ends. Love doesn’t. I’ve never heard this reality expressed more beautifully than in the lyrics of Andrew Peterson. Let his words sink deeply into your mind and heart:

After the last tear falls, after the last secret’s told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves and the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that’s just too hard
There is love…

After the last disgrace, after the last lie to save some face
After the last brutal jab from a poison tongue
After the last dirty politician, after the last meal down at the mission
After the last lonely night in prison
There is love…

’Cause after the last plan fails, after the last siren wails
After the last young husband sails off to join the war
After the last, “This marriage is over”
After the last young girl’s innocence is stolen
After the last years of silence that won’t let a heart open
There is love…

And in the end, the end is oceans and oceans of love and love again
We’ll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we’ll look back on these tears as old tales
’Cause after the last tear falls there is love

Take courage, dear heart. Love never fails and love never ends.

Elise Harboldt

Elise studies theology at Andrews University. A registered nurse, her background is in health ministry and resource development. She is the coauthor of Goodbye Diabetes, Diabetes Undone and graduated from ARISE in 2007.