“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion” (Psalm 103: 1-4).

Brother Lawrence was known for extraordinary firmness, which in another walk of life would have been termed fearlessness. It revealed a great soul, lifted above the fear and the hope of all that was not God. Nothing astonished him; he feared nothing. What made his fearless faith possible? He saw God as infinitely just. He was convinced that God would never deceive him, but only bring him good. His part was not to displease God, and for the love of God, to endure whatever came. It was said that as Lawrence’s death drew near, his patience grew even stronger. A contemporary wrote, “He never seemed to have a moment of sorrow, even in the greatest violence of his malady. Joy was evident, not only on his face, but also in his manner of speaking, so much so that the members of the community who went to visit him asked whether he was actually in pain. ‘Pardon,’ he said, ‘I am in pain. The place in my side hurts. But my soul is content.’ When the hour came for his departure from this world he cried again and again, ‘Faith. Faith.’ By the light of faith, he already saw something of this intimate presence. He said he neither feared neither death, hell, the judgment of God, nor the efforts of the devil.” When asked at the last what was occupying his spirit, Lawrence replied, “I am doing what I shall do through all eternity. I am blessing God, praising Him, worshiping Him, and loving Him with all my heart.” Brother Lawrence was used to praising God, and so accustomed to the joy of it, that he could enjoy God’s presence on his deathbed. What better time could there be to get started following his example than when we are relatively healthy?

Adapted from “The One Year Book of Encouragement”