I keep thinking about a Charles Spurgeon sermon about the two rocks that gave Moses water in the wilderness.
On the first one, God told Moses to strike the rock with his staff. He did and it gave water. To Spurgeon, this first rock was Jesus. We nailed him to a cross and he suffered God's wrath. Because of that, his blood cleanses us and makes us part of his family.
On the second rock, God told Moses to only speak to the rock. There was no need to beat it. The first one was beaten once and for all. Still Moses was so angry at the Israelites that he beat the rock anyway. He disobeyed God, but God mercifully gave him water. Then he banned Moses and Aaron from the earthly Promised Land.
To Spurgeon, that second rock is us. Christ suffered and died for our sins. His blood flows through his saved people and people only need to come to us in the Church to be revived by it. Sadly, although God tells people to leave Christ's people alone, they still receive scars and martyrdom in Christ's name. Even so, Christ's blood flows even faster in a land where people die for the Faith. Onlookers notice that people would rather die than give up the richness they have in Christ and they come to know Jesus too.
I think of last Sunday's sermon about God's gift of free will to his people. I had to really think of this, because although I'm a Calvinist, I do believe in free will. God really did give it to us. Nobody is going to be forced into the eternity that they come to when Christ returns. People will either gladly live in God's presence forever, or they will suffer God's wrath forever but never be ashamed that they never gave their lives exclusively to Jesus. God forces no one's hand even though he has to save us in order for us to willingly come to Christ.
There was a quote from CS Lewis about how God does not always get what he wants. I love CS Lewis, and I see why he says that, but it's not right. We know what God wants. He wants people to live forever, free from sin, happy in Christ, obeying his rules. We know this does not happen. But we also know that God is almighty and could stop this.
But in his love and wisdom, God has a secret decree that will come to pass and in the end he will receive all the glory as the God who sent God the Son to take God's wrath on our behalf. Either way, whatever God plans does come to pass and in Christ's completed kingdom, all people will obey him. By then we will see the beauty of the journey God created for us and praise him for doing it just right.