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Book Excerpt – Chris Manion’s “God’s Patient Pursuit of My Soul”

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I remember a time when I was deep in prayer, wordlessly sitting with God. I felt drawn down a long hallway. I followed the urge and found myself wandering toward a door at the end of the hall. As I approached the door with a bit of hesitation, I slowed and began to wonder what was beyond that door. Cautiously, I opened it. It swung out into black space. Nothingness. I wanted to withdraw, pull back, but something—I barely recognized God’s movements in my life at this point—something kept me there, encouraging me to keep coming, to step forward.

 

Oh, I don’t think so! I thought aloud. If I take a step, I’m going to fall! I didn’t like this version of the “Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

 

“Do you think I would not catch you?” asked the Invitation to the dark unknown.

 

“Well…”

 

“Do you trust Me?”

 

“Yes, most of the time…”

 

“Then come. Take a step.”

 

“Nooooo, I don’t think so.” Fear gripped me. There was nothing, nothing beyond the threshold of this door. Black space. Nada. Nothingness confronted me.

 

I was on sure footing as long as I stood there. If I took one step out into the nothingness, I knew beyond any doubt that I would fall. And the fall was the only thing on my mind.

 

I shook my head like a little girl afraid to jump into the water with her Daddy standing waist deep, arms outstretched to her, beckoning, beckoning.

 

“Just one step…,” came the whisper.

 

“I want to, but…”

 

“Just one step. I’ll catch you.”

 

I froze in this doorway. Time suspended itself. There was no hurry. The door remained open, and Nothingness waited beyond it. I wasn’t willing to step out… Reason and will battled in my head.

 

I wavered. I moved to take a step back. Maybe another day…

 

“I will not let you fall. I will catch you. Do you trust Me?” the One who loved me asked.

 

Oh, there’s the catch, I thought. He’s got me on this one. The fundamental question.

 

“Yes, You know I trust You.” I just haven’t had to trust You this much before!

 

He said nothing more. If I trusted Him, then proof required stepping out into nothingness, knowing beyond a doubt that not only would I fall, but that I would be caught. That I would experience no harm. I do trust Him, I rationalized to myself. This is just so scary. This had to be a dream. I couldn’t move.

 

“Please come.” I don’t think I heard this so much as felt it. His heart was speaking to mine. He wanted me to step outward into nothing and  trust Him. It was a free decision. I did not feel pressure to take any action. I felt His longing, His desire for me to enter the nothingness, to enter Him.

 

© 2016 Chris Manion. All rights reserved. Published by Redemption Press.

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