Infinite power — but not infinite love? (Mondays with MacDonald)

There are, or there used to be when I was a boy, [those] who, in their reverence for the name of the Most High, would have shown horror at the idea that he could not do anything or everything in a moment as it pleased him, but would not have been shocked at all at the idea that he might not please to give this or that man any help. In their eyes power was a grander thing than love, though it is nowhere said in the Book that God is omnipotence. Such, because they are told that he is omnipotent, call him Omnipotence; when told that he is Love, do not care to argue that he must then be loving? But as to doing what he wills with a word—see what it cost him to redeem the world! He did not find that easy, or to be done in a moment without pain or toil. Yea, awfully omnipotent is God. For he wills, effects and perfects the thing which, because of the bad in us, he has to carry out in suffering and sorrow, his own and his Son’s Evil is a hard thing for God himself to overcome. Yet thoroughly and altogether and triumphantly will he overcome it; and that not by crushing it underfoot—any god of man’s idea could do that!—but by conquest of heart over heart, of life in life, of life over death. Nothing shall be too hard for the God that fears not pain, but will deliver and make true and blessed at his own severest cost.

George MacDonald, from his novel Weighed and Wanting (1882)

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