"The hand of God does not hold the man nearer, clasped in its grip, but sets him free, and its creative power becomes the longing love of the Creator for the creature." - Bonhoeffer This Bonhoeffer quote is a great image for my heart to see today. I am reminded that God is not a vindictive dictator manipulating my every move so that I remain near to him and his model for my life. That would not be love! If, in his phenomenal power, God manipulated my every move that I had no option but to love him back, I would not have loved him anyway. But as a phenomenal Creator, he has given me life and asked that I be close to him and yet allowing me to live that life as I choose.
I am reminded of one of many fears I had of becoming a father. If I raise a child with great love, I cannot imagine the pain of a time when my own daughter lives her own life without a desire to be near me and the love I have given her. I imagine I would stay back, wanting her to go and become a woman; for her to grow into a strong woman; all along waiting back for her to desire time, connection, and nearness to me, her father.
This image has served me well today in my connection with the heart of God.
My Father has given me life to live, but how close have I desired to be? He waits for me to be near while he also enjoys seeing me go and grow and mature. I long to be near my Abba who has given me life and brought me this far into the person I am.