Brother Lawrence said that whenever he tried to “communicate with anyone concerning the state of his soul, he came out of it feeling more perplexed.” Yet whenever he would die to himself and “lose himself for the love of God, he feared nothing.” As he said, “Total surrender to God is the sure way, along which there is always light to guide us.” Have you ever gone to someone for advice and left feeling worse than before? That was Brother Lawrence’s experience.
Brother Lawrence said that “he expected great physical or mental suffering to occur, and that his greatest trial would be to lose the perceptible awareness of God he had experienced for so long. But God’s goodness assured him he would never abandon him, and would give him the strength to endure whatever evil he would permit to happen to him. With that assurance he feared nothing.” Brother Lawrence expected stress and suffering in life. Indeed, God’s Word has repeatedly told us
Brother Lawrence said that “he was more closely united with God during his ordinary activities than when he put them aside to do his retreat exercises, which generally left him in great aridity.” Brother Lawrence so lived in God’s presence all the time that participating in some expected Christian practices didn’t make any real difference to him. He found God just as real in his ordinary tasks as he did in those Christian activities. In fact, compared with loving God in his
Brother Lawrence said that “when his duties distracted him somewhat from thinking about God, God impressed a remembrance of himself on his soul, giving him so intense an awareness of God, warming and inflaming him so strongly, that he cried out and made exaggerated gestures, singing and jumping about like a fool.” When God moved upon Brother Lawrence, he celebrated those moments exuberantly. To others he appeared foolish. What others see, however, can be quite different than what’s really going on inside
Brother Lawrence said that “when he had some matter to take care of, he never thought about it in advance, but within the necessary time period he found in God, as in a clear mirror, what he needed at the moment. For some time now he acted in this manner with no apprehension, although before he had this experience of God’s prompt help he worried about everything.” Brother Lawrence used to be a worrier. Yet by living in God’s presence, he