Lately, I have had the same conversation with two different groups of friends. The conversation revolves around whether or not, and how, God might discipline people. If we remain resistant to the love of God, will he ever try to get our attention with difficulty? Will he ever “correct” our ignorance and entice us to be receptive to his love. I do not yet know the complete answer to this question but it seems that George MacDonald must have also wrestled with such questions. Perhaps the answer is even in these words of his.
Nor will God force any door to enter in. He may send a tempest about the house; the wind of His admonishment may burst doors and open windows, yea, shake the house to its foundations; but not then, not so, will He enter. The door must be opened by the willing hand, ere the foot of Love will cross the threshold. He watches to see the door move from within. Every tempest is but an assault in the siege of Love. The tenor of God is but the other side of His love; it is love outside, that would be inside – love that knows the house is no house, only a place until it enter.*
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
*Unspoken Sermons, Second Series, The Cause of Spiritual Stupidity. George MacDonald.