Love covers. Where questions linger without answer and old misunderstandings remain cross-armed, love forges ahead with a covering, unthreatened by the gaps beneath (1 Pet. 4:8). Love does not wait for the seeing eye-to-eye or the final resolution before it hurries forward to forbear and cover the unsolved and the uncertain. Love itself is resolved and certain, needing no perfection in the one it loves in order to advance ahead.
Love knows the future even when the present is precarious. It sees the unshadowed day ahead: when broken vessels have been clothed with light and the meek of the earth crowned with glory. In that day, the love that was offered in Christ—before the day dawned and before the shadows fled away—will remain in full brightness (Song. 4:16; 1 Cor. 13:13).
The love that I carry for my brother now—though there are gaps and areas we find ourselves unable to resolve—is a love that has only begun its eternal path; and the future is bright. It will remain through the changing of the age, through the ending of the night and the dawning of the new Day. It will not fail but will rush into the future victoriously, covering the broken places and holding together the fault lines, until Love Himself closes them forever.
Love never fails.
And where my words fail, though I may have the tongue of angels, love is greater than all that language can offer. And where prophecy and understanding and even faith seek to bring the light but still come up short, love does not fail, shining brighter and brighter until the perfect day. Where even the highest sacrifice of self-giving cannot reconcile, love lays itself down for another and does not fall short in its offering (1 Cor. 13:8).
Love never fails.
And there is a place—a place where love waits in delay—forging a covering until the shadows flee away. At times it does not know whether the resolutions will come before the day breaks or afterward; but love does not hesitate in that unknowing. It covers. Covers the gaps of misunderstanding. Shields the unresolved from the exposure of the accuser, of the storms, of the threats. It lays itself down over the wounds, over the sins, over the losses and the grief (1 Cor. 13:4).
Watch and see. Wherever love is yielded to, it creates a way. When words have failed to find resolve and understanding has fallen short to bring the light of agreement, where even sacrifice is insufficient to close the wounds, love presses forward in courage and confidence, covering and forbearing, hoping and believing. It suffers long (1 Cor. 13:7). It reaches into the sweetness of holy fellowship with Christ and extends itself with open arms just as He opened His arms and gave His life for love (Jn. 13:34).
And love never fails.
When the accuser of the brethren comes and says, “But what of the wrong done? What of the mistreatment unrepented for?” Love says, “I’m laying myself down like a covering over the places between me and my brother. I’m not sure when or how we’ll fully find one another in reconciliation, but I’m not afraid to hope and believe and lay myself down in forbearance in the delay. Because this I know: whether we find the place where all that was lost is found and all that was wounded is bound – or whether that day doesn’t come until the next age – love never fails.”
Love is the greatest and it remains. It carries over from age to age. It forges forward and fails not, even through the transition of this life. It is as strong as death and as unyielding as the grave. It triumphs. It overcomes. It transcends even the barrier of death. Many waters cannot quench it and floods cannot drown it (Song. 8:6-7: Rom. 8:38,39).
Love never fails.