Day 63 – Divine Providence
Brother Lawrence wrote to a friend, “It hurts me to see you suffer for such a long time. . . . I think you should give up all human remedies and abandon yourself completely to divine providence; perhaps God is only waiting for this abandonment and for a perfect trust in him to cure you. Since these remedies have not had the expected effect in spite of all your efforts – on the contrary, the suffering has increased – resist him no longer, abandon yourself into his hands, and depend entirely on him. . . . Love lightens suffering. . . .”
Let’s say you’ve asked God to heal you and you’re following recommended remedies, but you’re still suffering. Brother Lawrence advises your next step: “Abandon yourself completely to divine providence.”
Surrender yourself totally to God: Yielding to the Lord to do as he chooses. Leaving the final decision with him either to heal you or to give you the grace to endure your suffering.
According to Brother Lawrence, this abandonment into God’s hands may be just what God is waiting for and heal you. Or the Lord could be using your sickness to cure a deeper sickness of your soul or teach you some virtue.
Surrendering to God is not acquiescing to your illness, which you don’t like, but yielding to God to accomplish his “good, pleasing and perfect will” in your body, mind, and spirit (Romans 12:2).
Surrendering to God is not bargaining with God to get what we want from him either. We can’t manipulate God. And healing is not accomplished through some prayer formula.
Abandonment to divine providence is a genuine relinquishment, praying like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). “Father God, I know if you want, you can change this. You can heal me. But ultimately I want what you want!”
If God heals you, praise God! Give glory to God. God’s “love endures forever” (Psalm 136).
If God doesn’t heal you, praise God! God may be more real to you in your suffering. God’s “love lightens suffering.”
Make every effort to change what you can change. Ask God to change what only he can change. And accept what does not change. Whatever happens, you belong wholly to Christ (Philippians 1:21).
Living in God’s presence makes suffering easier to handle. Jesus says to you: “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand” (John 13:7).
Abandon yourself to divine providence and give God praise.
Question: What in your life do you need to relinquish to God?
This is God’s Word for you today,