I often share quotes from books I’m reading on my instagram feed, this one was a far too long to put in a caption but I just thought it was so good! So here you go, this is from Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning.
“Today I double up with laughter whenever I realize that I have started “managing” my life once more – something we all do with astounding regularity. The illusion of control is truly pathetic, but it is also hilarious. Deciding what I most need out of life, carefully calculating my next move, and generally allowing my autonomous self to run amuck inflates my sense of self importance and reduces the God of my incredible journey to role of spectator on the sidelines… One of the most arduous spiritual tasks is that of giving up control and allowing the Spirit of God to lead our lives.
On the other hand, presumption is such an insidious perversion that trust is not merely tainted but corrupted by it. In presumption, we assign God the task of doing for us what we should be doing for ourselves…
…Father Martin says, picture a guy who comes and says, “Father, I am a hopeless alcoholic. I’ve been drinking a quart of vodka, a gallon of Chablis, and a case of beer every day for the last twenty years. I’ve read a lot of the miracle stories in the Bible lately, and I know that Jesus is the master of the impossible. So pray over me and tell Jesus to set me free from Bondage.” And Father Martin responds, “I’ve got a better idea. Go to Alcoholics Anonymous, attend ninety meetings in ninety days, find yourself a sponsor, diligently work the Twelves Steps under his guidance, and read the Big Book every day. In other words, do the hard work.”
The most common form of presumption is the expectation that God will directly and secretly intervene in human affairs. We presume that by saying “Lord, Lord,” the cancer or bankruptcy or infidelity will disappear. We presume that God answers prayers by assuring good outcomes, that food for the widows and orphans will fall from heaven, and that the Holy One infallibly guarantees a baby’s safe delivery…
The theological arguments that support an interventionary God are many and varied. Frequently people report that they have experienced a physical cure or an inner healing. And they have. “Yet,” as John Shea writes, “one brutal historical fact remains – Jesus is mercilessly nailed to the cross and despite the Matthean boast, twelve legions of angels did not save him from that hour. No cop-out redemption theories that say God wanted it that way explain the lonely and unvisited death of God’s Son. This side of the grave Jesus is left totally invalidated by the Lord of heaven and earth.
Trust in God does not presume that God will intervene.
Often trust begins on the far side of despair. When all human resources are exhausted, when the craving for reassuranes is stifled, when we forgo control, when we cease trying to manipulate God and demystify Mystery, then – at our wits’ end – trust happens within us, and the untainted cry, “Abba, into your hands I commend my spirit,” surges from the heart…
…It seems that the Master had something more in mind when he said, “Trust in me””
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