Have you ever said, “Pray for me to have clarity.” or “I just need God to give me clarity about what I’m supposed to do.” or “I can’t move forward until I have more clarity.”
Chances are, you’ve picked up on that language and that idea over the years if you’ve run in Jesus loving circles. But, I’m starting to wonder if we’ve really gotten this idea FROM Jesus, or if we just made up this “need for clarity” on our own.
I’ve been reading a book called Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God. In it Brennan Manning recounts a story of a man (John Kavanaugh) who spent some time working alongside of Mother Teresa. She asked him one day, “And what can I do for you?” and his response was “Pray that I have clarity.” Mother Teresa’s response was an immediate and emphatic, “No, I will not do that.” She explained to him the reasons why she would not pray such a prayer: “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of. […] I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God.”
Manning goes on to say that…
Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love.
“We ourselves have known and put our trust in God’s love toward ourselves” (1 John 4:16). We have a God who LOVES us, no less than he loves the men and women listed in Scripture. Think about Hebrews 11 and the list of people of great faith it contains. Think about their stories. Do you think they had clarirty? I had never thought through that before, but stopping to think about that… No. They lived in great uncertainty and confusion never knowing what was going to happen next or how exactly it was all going to work out … but in the midst of that they found great faith… great trust in the God they knew was with them… and that TRUST took them beyond their unclear circumstances and into LIFE with God!
Manning, Brennan (2010-10-12). Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin’s Path to God (pp. 5-6). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.