“The splendor of a human heart that trusts it is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.”
~ Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God
Trust, belief, hope, expectancy, and waiting are the actions of faith. You can say you have faith, but it will be proven by your willingness to trust God and believe He is really for you, especially when things are at their worst.
Ruthless trust is the most challenging trust to possess. Or should I say, it possesses you?
Simple trust is a day to day thing. I trust God with my day, to protect my children, my wife, and me throughout the day. It’s a simple thing, this simple trust. It’s not hard at all.
Then there’s intentional trust. Times are tougher. There’s more month than money. The electric is close to being cut off or already has been disconnected. The car breaks down on the 55 freeway as I’m driving to work in Anaheim in Southern California’s well-known bumper to bumper morning traffic. That trust is more difficult.
Finally, most all of us have experienced the need for what Manning calls, “ruthless trust.” The police knock on your door. Your son has passed away at the local hospital of a drug overdose.
The doctor looks you in the eye and says, “I’m sorry to tell you that you have cancer. It’s a highly aggressive type. You have four to six months to live. There’s nothing we can do aside from making you comfortable.”
Or your spouse wants to talk. You sit down with her or him. They tell you they’re having an affair and want a divorce.
Ruthless trust is that act of faith that goes against the human grain in times when everything seems shattered and falling apart. This kind of trust is built over time. It shows itself as “grace to help just in the nick of time,” as G. Campbell Morgan put it.
Faith’s actions – trust, belief, hope, expectancy, and a willingness to wait – are all gifts back to God, as Manning says in the last line of the quote above.
But the most “enchanting” gift one can give to God is the gift of ruthless trust in the midst of horrific times. It is the most powerful form of faith that a human being can express.
To be able to express this ruthless trust, one must truly believe and have experienced God’s unchanging love for them previously. They must have pursued the presence of God in everything and been aware of it. And they’ve come to have a deep love back to God for all of the love that He’s revealed to them.
Let’s participate with God now, the One who loves us and wants to partner with us in life; so that we can be prepared when the pains of life get so pronounced that we’re ready to give up.
Then, instead of giving up, we’ll simply give it over to our God who’s proven to us how much He loves us!