If the immediate reaction that changed Brother Lawrence’s life is the way we should respond to God’s provision and His power, then why don’t we? First I will say that I believe with all my heart that we should be able to respond just as he did, but at the same time I recognize how very unique, as well as unusual his response was. I therefore share with you that I see our faith as considerably diluted in comparison. There may be reasons for it, or my reasoning may be an attempt on my part to be excused for my own lack of immediate insight. But what if we look for a few minutes at the physical conclusions we might draw from life as we know it today.
1. Have you ever noticed that we take most of the things we do and see on a daily basis for granted? People, things, beauty, family, and work to name a few. Not only that, we do things by habit without thinking. My sister and her family lived in Kabul, Afghanistan for a couple of years and she told me how much more alive she felt when they were in a foreign place because you had to think about everything you did. That surprised me but it made me think.
Brother Lawrence probably had not been to very many places in 1666, so my guess is “He was thinking!”
2. I’d like to point out that he knew the cycle of trees and other growing things. There was no super market where one might suppose that food and nature just by-passed the growing season and just ‘were.’ Another personal event that illustrates: my cousin came to visit us in the country and was appalled to learn that milk came from cows. Her response was that she couldn’t drink that stuff, she wanted her mom to go get some real milk.
But Brother Lawrence knew the ‘real’ even when it came to God. As his heart longed for understanding. God provided it through His power and Brother Lawrence became an icon of faith, love, and devotion to the one he lived for.