Won By Waiting: a thought on suffering

I recently finished reading Won by Waiting by Edna Lyall (published in 1879) after I found it at a used book store.  Not all people will enjoy this book, but I highly recommend it, especially to L.M. Montgomery and Gene Stratton Porter fans.  The book is based around one family – and one girl in particular – who learns to wait on God’s timing and trust in Him during times of suffering.  Last night I came across an excerpt I had written down.  I think it applies to all suffering, from the most painful to the mundane.  Good food for thought on a Tuesday morning.

“But ‘just living on’ is rather a serious business,” said Frances, quietly.  “It is not easy to throw ourselves into the lives of others, to help them and sympathize with them, and love them. I think there is a good deal for you to do.”

“I should like it to be nice doing,” said Esperance, “and that is so hard – if one could only choose one’s work.”

“It would be much more risky, and we should lose the discipline… we should be poor creatures if we were always allowed our own way.”

“But still, I do not quite see that suffering does so very much for one,” said Esperance, a little impatiently, “and surely it doesn’t please God?”

“I think patient endurance does,” said Frances; “and He knows what suffering is best for us.  You may talk against it, ma mie, but I think if you remember last autumn and what you said of it then, you will see that suffering has done something for you.  I don’t think it is good to dwell too much on such personal experiences, but I cannot help remembering some rather bitter words that I heard that day about the impossibility of loving anybody.  I think the love is growing.”

Won by Waiting pg. 203


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