“Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.” Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel *
I would rather hear one hard truth than many easy platitudes.
Brennan Manning, a dear man with a nearly unbelievable windy road to and through faith, is one of those who took the hard of this world and studied it with the litmus test of grace, as revealed in scripture and in life. As of April 12, 2013, he is in the presence of God, a thought that thrills and saddens. I am sorry we won’t have any new words of wisdom from him, but my oh my, the ones he left will light your soul on fire.
I have just begun reading his book, Ruthless Trust, The Ragamuffin’s Path to God. I am highlighting the heck out of nearly every page. I am borrowing his phrase for the title of today’s prose-prayer, because it is dead on true and I could never think of a better way to say it. Thank you Mr. Manning, for your honesty and your humble courage to speak truth.
Tempests escort trust
Right out the door
In rudest manner.
Blustery, with an icy chill
That breathes nausea into my soul,
Fear has trumped trust for far too long.
This is not The Way.
This is not what He designed,
Nor paid so dearly for.
He could not be more clear:
“You will have trouble-
But take heart,
I have overcome the world,
I am with you always,”
Cast your cares on me,
Consider the lilies of the field,
I’ve numbered the hairs on your head.”
It’s time I get ruthless,
Toss fear and worry out,
And bar the door with trust.
Start a fire of gratitude in the hearth,
And cook a celebratory feast.
When darkness descends
And trouble comes in waves,
When I see things gone wrong,
With no redeeming bent,
I will wait.
I will clutch His hand and wait.
I will look around in this moment,
And ask, “Father, what would you have?”
I lack understanding,
And there is nothing good in me,
But I belong to One who
Rules in humility,
And is jealous for my trust.
I’m beginning to think
It is an all or nothing proposition.
Clarity may not come,
Not in this shady realm.
But confident expectation surely can.
Do I or don’t I?
Will I or won’t I?
Trepidation and trust
Just a heartbeat apart, these two.
It’s time for ruthless trust.
kpeterson April 24, 2013
You will probably recognize references from John 16:33, Matthew 23:20, 1 Peter 5:7, Luke 12:7, Matthew 6:28
Other books by Brennan Manning:
The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus (You can borrow my copy)
The Ragamuffin Gospel
The Wisdom of Tenderness