Brother Lawrence: Suffering, Consolation, and Resignation

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Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

“That we ought to give ourselves up to God, with regard both to things temporal and spiritual, and seek our satisfaction only in the fulfilling His will, whether He lead us by suffering or by consolation, for all would be equal to a soul truly resigned. That there needed fidelity in those drynesses, or insensibilities and irksomenesses in prayer, by which God tries our love to Him; that then was the time for us to make good and effectual acts of resignation, whereof one alone would oftentimes very much promote our spiritual advancement.”

Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God: The Best Rule of Holy Life (London: Epworth) 3.

God provided a room with a view. Enjoy the new header photo from Hilton Garden Inn in Kauai.

I was struck by the beauty of the sunrise this morning and reminded of God’s faithfulness in a world filled with suffering and brokenness. I almost felt guilty to be experiencing rest and refreshment when the world has so much need and pain.

God reminded me to give myself to Him in resignation. Full stop.

In so doing, I may experience renewal and consolation on retreat. It also means that this respite may position me to endure suffering according to His will. Whatever He puts before me comes into view as a test of my love for Him.

And, what He has made clear to me is that the next year will be more challenging than the last.

So, in response, on this retreat I am asking for a double portion of wisdom and compassion to navigate suffering and consolation with resignation to do His will. He assured me that I could ask for more and He would supply for service because He is generous.

So, when you give yourself in resignation, don’t be like me and ask too small. I’m learning.