I recently read the memoir of Brennan Manning, entitled “All is Grace”. Brennan is known by many as the author of the best selling book “Ragamuffin Gospel.”
Brennan had many seasons in his life. In his teen years he started to binge drink, following an entrenched family pattern of alcoholism.
At twenty-one he had a clear call from the Lord into relationship. He followed the call into priesthood in the Catholic church. He had a lot of success serving the Lord. Lives were positively affected towards God. But after several years Brennan began binge drinking again. His drinking spun his life out of control. By the age of forty-one he spent time at a Hazelden a rehab center in Minnesota.
He began to speak about his alcoholism and the grace of God at Catholic retreats. He was very well received. When he married, the speaking opportunities at Catholic events dried up. He began speaking at Protestant events on the grace and forgiveness of God. He had significant influence and impact in Christian organizations such as Young Life.
But the specter of binge drinking never left him. Between speaking engagements he would sometimes be lost for days in an alcoholic fog. It eventually cost him is marriage and badly affected his health.
I believe Brennan had a genuine relationship with God. He had a dynamic ministry speaking to others about God’s grace. He experienced that grace first hand But there was a lot of darkness in Brennan’s life.
There are others I have known like Brennan. Those who experience great high points of grace and effectiveness in their lives. But their life also contained shipwreck and tragedy. How to you have the highs without the lows.
I believe the secret lies in the daily component of the relationship with God. It is not enough to have isolated periods of great communion with God. If we do not have fellowship with the Lord every day, our hearts soon becomes cold. The world, our flesh and the devil gets claws into us, deceives us, and leads us away. The burdens keep us from returning to the mountain top experiences. Soon our faith grows cold and we drift away.
When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they were to gather manna every day. It was only fresh for one day. The exception was the Sabbath, when the whole day was given to focus on the things of God.
In John 6, Jesus explains that God gives us the true manna, the bread that comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. We need to daily gather and partake of this bread out of heaven. This blog, and the accompanying book, are meant as instruction and encouragement for your daily gathering and partaking of this bread.