Brennan Manning is best known for his book Ragamuffin Gospel. He passed away in April 2013. There may not be another Christian leader better known for his simple eloquence and consistent advocacy of God’s reckless and beautiful grace. His book Ruthless Trust urges followers of Christ to dig their fingernails deeply into the cliffside of God’s love when life is tough and to simply trust.
From paragraph one in the book, I knew I’d been led to it when I read Brennan’s recollection of some instruction he’d received from a spiritual director in his life:
You’ve got enough insights to last you 300 years. The most urgent need in your life is to trust what you’ve received.
With wit and warm insight, Manning unfolds in the rest of the book the urgency and soul-freeing call to simply trust in God. Using ample scripture and stirring stories, he illustrates, teaches and leads the reader to stop demanding knowledge up-front and to release oneself into the loving hands of a God who cares more for you than you do for yourself.
He speaks of how our daily distractions – some significant, some trivial – war against our trusting in God:
When we are inwardly dissipated through busyness, obsession, addiction, mindlessness, and preoccupation with television, sports, gossip, movies, shallow reading and so forth, we cannot be attentive to the gifts that arrive each day.
These grace gifts are God’s constant means to keep us centered in gratitude. Gratitude is the only possible position of a heart that is trusting. Unfortunately, our culture operates in a way to keep us unsatisfied – whether with our possessions or our lives. So consumerism colludes to warp our faith and to keep us from trusting. We are ungrateful and therefore unable to trust.
I’d highly recommend this as a read. Especially if you, in a quiet moment, would admit that you have difficulty trusting God, much less believing Him.
On a sidenote, I loved this snippet from Manning’s obituary. May we all find grace irresistible.
Richard Francis Xavier Manning, better known to legions of faithful readers as author, speaker, and contemplative Brennan Manning, for whom grace was irresistible, completed his earthly journey on Friday, April 12 at 12:10AM. He is now resting safely in the arms of his Abba. (Source)