“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3
God says that He has loved us “with an everlasting love” and it is because of that love, and with that love, that He has “drawn” us. What does it mean to “draw” someone? Well, as I understand it, “to draw” is the opposite of “to drive.” So, the truth that I take from this verse is this: “Because I love you, I do not force you. I desire to win you by my love.” I believe that is true, because as Adrian Rogers often said, “Forced love is not love at all.”
Many times we are surprised that our human lives do not reveal more of the traces of the omnipotence – the all-powerful nature – of God. Why wouldn’t we? We see it everywhere else, each and every day. We look at the night sky and we see that the entire universe is subject to the unbending, unyielding will of God and thus yields submissively to that law. But when we look around in our daily existence we see abounding evidence that man does not bend to that law; he does not yield submissively. In fact, it is apparent that he openly, and repeatedly, resists the will of the Almighty God.
Why is that? Why would man be allowed to resist when the rest of the universe is forced to yield? After all, he’s just a speck, a spot, barely even noticeable amidst the infinite spaces that obey this heavenly mandate. Why not crush his sinful, prideful rebellion and force his will to conform to the universal community? Jeremiah gives the answer – it is because love is incompatible with the exercise of omnipotence. There is no doubt that unbending law can govern the stars, but then again, the stars are not the object of God’s love – man is. That’s why he can only be ruled by love. Or, as the prophet puts it – “drawn.”
The desire of love is not to drive, but to draw. Omnipotence can overcome by driving and forcing, but this is not the desire, or the design, of love. Our Heavenly Father does not force us to come in by His overwhelming, over-powering will. Rather, He would have us drawn to Him by the beauty of His holiness. This is why He veils all that would coerce the will. He hides the glories of His Heaven. He conceals the gates of pearl. He covers the streets of gold. He mutes the music of the heavenly choir. He even obscures in the sky the sign of the Son of Man. He stops the striking of the hours on the Eternal clock. He walks on a carpet of velvet to keep us from hearing His coming footsteps lest He should conquer by fear the heart that He would win by love.
I have many friends who would no doubt disagree with me on this. They would ask me to explain it in more detail, but I can’t. There is a part of the progress of God that I can’t comprehend. I can’t understand why things move so slowly. I don’t know why in our “hurry up” world the Lord doesn’t choose some faster, more efficient mode or method. I just know that in the light of the Name that I do understand; the pauses are precious and the stops are merely the stages of the march.
I have heard some say, “If I were God for just one day, I’d do this or I’d do that”, somehow thinking that they could do something in the universe that He hasn’t. The truth is that they would have messed the whole thing up. The Father would not win by destroying the objects of His love’s ability or capacity to love. He would rather draw by His cross than to drive by His crown.
As I get older – and hopefully more mature – I realize even more that much of the world my Heavenly Father has created for me appeals more to my heart than any other part of my being. It’s not that it is all beautiful. It’s not that it is all understandable. It’s not that it is all practical. In fact, it is all “pathetic.” You see, there is “pathos” in the night sky. There is “pathos” in the rolling sea. There is “pathos” in the bubbling brook. There is even “pathos” in the sounds of everyday life. So, I realize that all the way and every day, He has been drawing me closer to Himself.
“Lord, I am beginning to understand why and how You have drawn me. If I had been a bee or a butterfly You would have drawn me by a beautiful flower. But because I am a man you have drawn me by the slow and sure cord connected to my heart. Thank You for loving me enough to allow me to love you.”