Selected Messages Book 2


Chapter 25—Fortitude in Affliction

Why This Affliction

[Appeared in Notebook Leaflets, Christian Experience, No. 9.]

[Late in 1891, Ellen G. White, in response to a request from the General Conference, journeyed to Australia to assist in strengthening the newly established work there. The sojourn extended to nine years. Soon after her arrival she was overtaken by an extended and painful illness. The following items record her fortitude in this affliction. Take note of the lessons she learned from this experience.—Compilers.] 2SM 233.1

Every mail has taken from one to two hundred pages from my hand, and most of it has been written either as I am now propped up on the bed by pillows, half lying or half sitting, or bolstered up sitting in an uncomfortable chair. 2SM 233.2

It is very painful to my hip and to the lower part of my spine to sit up. If such easy chairs were to be found in this country [Australia] as you have at the sanitarium, one would be readily purchased by me, if it cost thirty dollars.…It is with great weariness that I can sit erect and hold up my head. I must rest it against the back of the chair on the pillows, half reclining. This is my condition just now. 2SM 233.3

But I am not at all discouraged. I feel that I am sustained daily. In the long weary hours of the night, when sleep has been out of the question, I have devoted much time to prayer; and when every nerve seemed to be shrieking with pain, when if I considered myself, it seemed I should go frantic, the peace of Christ has come into my heart in such measure that I have been filled with gratitude and thanksgiving. I know that Jesus loves me, and I love Jesus. Some nights I have slept three hours, a few nights four hours, and much of the time only two, and yet in these long Australian nights, in the darkness, all seems light about me, and I enjoy sweet communion with God. 2SM 233.4

When I first found myself in a state of helplessness I deeply regretted having crossed the broad waters. Why was I not in America? Why at such expense was I in this country? Time and again I could have buried my face in the bed quilts and had a good cry. But I did not long indulge in the luxury of tears. 2SM 234.1

I said to myself, “Ellen G. White, what do you mean? Have you not come to Australia because you felt that it was your duty to go where the conference judged it best for you to go? Has this not been your practice?” 2SM 234.2

I said, “Yes.” 2SM 234.3

“Then why do you feel almost forsaken and discouraged? Is not this the enemy's work?” 2SM 234.4

I said, “I believe it is.” 2SM 234.5

I dried my tears as quickly as possible and said, “It is enough; I will not look on the dark side any more. Live or die, I commit the keeping of my soul to Him who died for me.” 2SM 234.6

I then believed that the Lord would do all things well, and during this eight months of helplessness, I have not had any despondency or doubt. I now look at this matter as a part of the Lord's great plan, for the good of His people here in this country, and for those in America, and for my good. I cannot explain why or how, but I believe it. And I am happy in my affliction. I can trust my heavenly Father. I will not doubt His love. I have an ever-watchful guardian day and night, and I will praise the Lord, for His praise is upon my lips because it comes from a heart full of gratitude—Letter 18a, 1892. 2SM 234.7