(All dated quotes are from her diaries and travel journals)


“Yes – with an Amen – Hallelujah – so long as that will is being done in us, utterly! I think He uses times like these to drain out of us whatever is left of mere human energy & ‘go,’ with its outcome of fruitless planning – & to hold our souls quiet for an incoming of the Spirit’s power.”

“Village of St. Nicolas, Switzerland. The people were all Roman Catholics of a really devout kind. . . & the crucifixes by the roadsides were all carved with texts in German about the Lord as the Sin-bearer – they are always to me so intensely touching, with crucifixes standing in the middle of all that glory of the works of His Hands & shewing Him forth emptied to the uttermost.” Journal 1896-7

“All the nerve tension & exhaustion of the last two years melted away then & there in the flood of new life that came – new – Divine life I knew it to be, from the fountain of Life Himself – renewing soul & body together – all the more wonderful from having come unsought – just ‘in the way of His Steps.’”Journal 1896-7

“Poor little lamb – the Good Shepherd who drew so near her will not forget her or forsake her.”Journal 1896-7

“Through all these new little bits of openings came echoing the words of Jesus, ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do.’ He was beginning to shew how the first move must come from His side, with ours to co-operate – not the other way. He must take the initiative. It has taken a long time to learn.” Journal 1896-7

“He didn’t promise us ease and comfort – but He did promise joy which we may have in the midst of any weight or heaviness which may be ours to bear.” 17 July 1928

“One learns as one goes on, not to fear the detours by which God leads on.” 18 July 27

“Exhaust the human possibilities of a situation and then trust God to do what is humanly impossible.” December 1900

“Obedience is the atmosphere of God’s revealings.” 26 April 1907

“Things without a lift on the human side – but God keeps our hope in Him for His ‘sequel.’ In the face of bleak sky & cold wind, four little snowdrop buds, the first we have ever had here, have sat for the last 2 or 3 days with their chins on the earth – & now today one of them has reared itself up pure & fearless on its little stalk, with all the promise of the Spring.” 6 February 1903

“There were the fishing boats in the sunrise this morning. They were tacking before the wind, & at each fresh tack came a pause when the sail took an expression of helpless uncertainty & standstill & under which the boat nearly reeled – then it would catch the breezes from the other side, & bound off under it in a new direction. I think we are tacking just now!” March 1903

“O Hallelujah – God is for us! Today has been like the first breath of fresh air after a thunderstorm. . . & so lovely & so like His beautiful timing that it should come with Easter morning.” 12 April 1903

“It is so wonderful to see God using big things to work with little things (in the world’s measurement of big & little) as readily as He uses little things to work big ones.” 5 May 1903

“Down to Blida again. The country is beginning to look tawny & the summer blaze of thistles is beginning – spires of golden stars – the colour of the yolk of an egg – side by side with the great indigo balls. But the thing that speaks to me most is the wide dry river-bed with its memory of waters that have ebbed away & its parable of lost blessing. It speaks of all the possibilities that have been ‘let slip’ – have left only barren places behind.” 14 May 1903

“It is never long before God begins to speak when one gets away into His unspoilt world. ‘I will open rivers in bare heights.’ That was His word today as we got up & up behind the little hotel into the high valley above to the land of gentians & primulas. Up & away where all is at its barest, above the tree level, it was all glistening with little streams, set in brown moss & huge golden marsh marigolds.” 23 July 1903

“That stream has been God’s word to me. We were making the way down along its course, & the rush of the water was marvellous. You could hardly hold a cup in it – & when one took it out the water still whirled round & round in it for several seconds after. It came from having its source so high, & coming so swiftly down into low places. And it has linked itself with the words – ‘Being by the right hand of God exalted. . . He hath shed forth this.’ If only Jesus is high enough & we are low enough the stream of His Spirit must be mighty – Hallelujah. ‘A pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God & of the Lamb.’” 24 August 1903

“’Be strong & very courageous’ is God’s word today. Unbelief ‘wavers’ & ‘staggers’ & ‘stumbles.’ Faith rests.” 20 April 1900

“There is a postcard they sell that I like so much – the feast with which they welcome the spring, ringing cowbells all over the place, while the snow lies thickly yet over everything – an echo of the faith that calls the things that are not as though they were.” 17 December 1900

“Oh to learn how to fight through the battle in the heavenly places till the day comes. To attempt the impossible & expect the impossible – it comes back to that again.” 17 February 1901

“Such a day of small things still, but on God’s times, & that is enough: size as well as time & space count nothing with Him.” 1 January 1902

“Oh we are slow to see that it is only our weakness that He needs!” 7 April 1904

“Our vine is telling me these days how swiftly God can work when His pruning has had its way. It is just a ‘fortnight’ since the first green drops of light were visible on the giant grey stems – & now there are bunches of ‘tender grapes’ nearly as long as your hand, in the great clustering leaves.” 6 April 1904

“It has been much with us of late, that it is only beyond what is humanly reasonable & possible that we see the Glory of God.” 5 January 1905

“How wonderful God’s timings are. There is such a strange kind of heavenly poetry about them – & it brought a strong assurance that His Hand is in it all, working out a purpose worthy of His great thoughts!” 28 January 1905

“EI Biar has been very beautiful these last days. An interweaving of autumn & spring till you do not know which it is – the golden leaves & the fruit blossom stand side by side. It is a lovely picture of what ‘the same Lord’ means life to be as its end draws on.” 16 November 1906

“I have never seen till now that side of it – how while God’s plan is as yet dark & unrevealed there is the beacon light of the strange inexplicable burning in one’s heart in the direction in which He is leading us. Then when the way begins to clear & we see His path, the day-dawn brings the other finding – the ‘cloud for a covering’ takes us under its canopy of rest all along. So we can ‘go by day & by night.’” 14 October 1908

“It is but a reed & a bruised reed, but the Lord will get music out of it in heaven if not on Earth.” 8 December 1908

“It was the children to whom I lost my heart: one can hardly take one’s eyes off them, they are such perfect of harmony. The people all strike colour chords that I have never seen before.” 11 June 1908

“One begins to see that the fact of the going down of hopes on the Earthly side is the very thing that sends them up, according to the law of heavenly dynamics, on the Divine Side.” 14 March 2019

“The miracle of Cana has been shining out these days – ‘Fill the waterpots with water’ has been their watchword. Undiluted weakness transmuted with undiluted strength. It seems to me as if the first thing we expect of God is that He will tinge our water with the wine of His power. Then when we learn a little later we look for its wine, but feel it must still have an admixture of our water. It is but slowly that we come to see that the mingling is not His way with us – it is all weakness – up to the brim exchanged for His all power.” 13 February 1910

“A word in Job has come in Spirit & life these days – ‘Thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field’ – the very things that are obstacles – stumbling-blocks in the way, may, when the chastening of God (of which the context tells) has had its way, be taken as help instead of hindrances. We may take our very impediments into partnership in the work of our sanctification. Praise be to His Name!” 9 March 1910

“’Behold the fowls of the air’ has come to me these days with another lesson besides that of their reckless trust. It is the abandonment of their obedience to the passion of their motherhood. The pigeons have taken to building their nests on the broad windowsill, & they preach many a sermon there. The restless activity vanished into a stillness that might be a thing carved in stone but for the intent watchfulness of the eye, the whole being absorbed in the fostering with life of those two eggs. It speaks a reproach for all the possibilities that we leave unheeded, unprayed over till the germinating powers have died out of them.” 24 June 1910

“The sense of epiphany came before the dawn in the tremulous clanging of the church bell of Blida – so gentle at first that it might almost have been the tinkling bells of the wise men’s camels – a growing into a crescendo of joy. As will that ‘manifestation’ come to bear a better daybreak.” 6 January 1911

“The cherry blossom has been preaching a sermon this morning. ‘The thing was done suddenly’ – no sign of them till Monday – on Tuesday 2 or 3 precursors – & then the whole snowstorm on Wednesday. Does it not tell how out of the infinite of His untried resources our God can bring the same swift rush of life among the boughs of the Moslem world!” 31 March 1912

“The most delightful things over here are the terraces of olives up the mountain sides. Some of the trees are known to be of 500 years standing. The twistings & gnarlings of them & their look of patient endurance with which they still bring forth fruit in old age, is beautiful. No matter if their branches have been shorn one after another, or if their roots have hardly a foothold left, or if their hearts are worn to a shell, there is still the soft crown of gray green waiting for another crop of berries & yet another.” 23 September 1912

“It has been a year of grace – an Anno Domini for which we praise the Giver. May He gather all its fragments of the Spirit’s working into His eternal purposes and keep them there.
‘Of broken shells He maketh, so He wills
The everlasting marble of His hills.’
Amen.” 28 December 1912

“The nightly readings have centred on the gift of the Holy Ghost, & once more we see proof that this is the truth needed: that He is not the prize of the full-grown but the heritage of the baby souls.” 25 June 1913

“Echoes from Keswick seem to link in with teaching that has been coming here in the quietness about prayer – how all the tenor of helplessness & failure over it is only meant to make way for the prayer life of Christ in us – & in fellowship with Him in it which will ‘make all things new.’ No longer a weary wrestling to get access & an answer but catching His thought & swiftly asking alongside in His Name – His the overtone, ours the undertone – so to fill in the harmony.” 31 July 1913

“I was looking this morning at the grey slope of that streamfall – & noticed how unbroken the tints upon – it might have been laid on the mountain side with a great brush. The sense was that I stood in a line with the sun. . . & with that flashed a truth unrealized till now – that the sun has no shadows. It brings back that verse in Jeremiah ‘I remember thee – the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou waiteth after me in the wilderness.’ That is the Old Testament illustration. ‘Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations’. That is the New Testament. They tell of a love that forgets all the halfheartedness – unfaithfulness & floods & drowns out the failures in its radiance.” 26 August 1913

“One of the things that touches one most among the glories of God here, are the baby trees of the tree-limit. Far below in the emerald of the pastures, lie the alder & beechforests. Then comes the solemn purple-green belt of pine – & above again, among the grey rocks, where they have hardly a foothold of soil, & where the snow buries them yards deep for a third of the year, are these little outpost of the forest – tiny stunted stragglers holding on & alive – that is all. It is very much as must seem, in the paths of them our dear souls in the Moslem lands – so far from being, in stature & symmetry, what the saints of God can become in more sheltered places – unable like them to be any support to each other – they are too small & too scattered – yet with a beauty all their own from what they have endured, & must endure, to keep alive.” 6 September 1913

“We have to do with a God to whom time is as boundless as space in its elasticity!” 2 May 1914

“‘Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers.’ Those words have taken on a new meaning. The very highest & most marvellous outlook on earth on His creative power, only shews the work of His Fingers – the thought is of skill, not of strength put forth as in the arm – nothing of the light-strewn depths of these nights of the Plateaux can reveal even so much as an effort of the exceeding greatness of His Power.” 24 March 1916

“Lovely to wake morning after morning under a palmwood ceiling. The call of the meddlin before the dawn, praying like a flute & challenging the cry to God for the power of the Name of the cradle, & the scent of the dry palm leaves that light that is above every name.” 12 February 1917


“For if the Sun of Righteousness has risen upon our hearts, there is an ocean of grace and love and power lying all around us, an ocean to which all earthly light is but a drop, and it is ready to transfigure us, as the sunshine transfigured the dandelion, and on the same condition – that we stand full face to God.” Focussed


“Believe in the darkness what you have seen in the light.” 1 August 1901

“It is water poured down into a low narrow channel that can rise into a fountain. Faith that come from the depths has a spring in it!” 10 July 1896

“The stretched out hand of faith on earth, acting in union with the stretched out hand of God’s power in heaven. That is the sort of faith we have go to learn before we have done with it.” 17 December 1899; 1 January 1900

“I am seeing more and more that we begin to learn what it is to walk by faith when we learn to spread out all that is against us: all our physical weakness, loss of mental power, spiritual inability – all that is against us inwardly and outwardly – as sails to the wind and expect them to be vehicles for the power of Christ to rest upon us. It is so simple and self evident – but so long in the learning!” 22 August 1902

“Trained faith is a triumphant gladness in having nothing but God – not rest, no foothold – nothing but Himself. A triumphant gladness in swinging out into that abyss, rejoicing in every fresh emergency that is going to prove Him true. ‘The Lord alone’ – that is trained faith.” 9 September 1902

“Faith is the link which joins our uttermost weakness to God’s almighty strength.” I came on that the other day, and it is so true, Faith that comes from the depths has a spring it it, like the water pressed down into a low narrow channel that can rise into a fountain.” 10 July 1896


“We felt that we must get our bit of quiet in the garden today, for soul as well as body. He makes the scraps of aloneness very very precious – and though there is no possibility of having a key or of ensuring the quiet lasting for a moment, one gets a sense among the palms and fruit blossoms that one has so far as possible shut the door. And it is true as of old that ‘the doors being shut, came Jesus.’” 3 March 1895

“Oh, the desert is lovely in its restfulness. The great brooding stillness over and through everything is so full of God. One does not wonder that He used to take His people out into the wilderness to teach them.” 3 April 1900; 6 March 1895

“The place where we wash His Feet with our tears has a great nearness to His Holy Place above.” 14 March 1926


“More and more one sees that prayer is a quiet time for thinking out God’s thoughts with Him and giving our “Amen” in the Name of Jesus. Was it not Galileo, when the light of some great astronomical law broke on him – or was it Newton? – who fell on his knees and said, ‘I praise Thee O God that Thou has let me think a thought that Thou has been thinking.’” 19 September 1908

“Turn full your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him, and the Divine ‘attrait’ by which God’s saints are made. . . will lay hold of you. For ‘He is worthy’ to have all there is to be had in the heart that He has died to win.” Focussed


“Today’s ‘first lesson’ was in these little mountain paths. I followed mine only a few yards further this morning and such an outburst of beauty came. You can never tell to what untold glories a little humble path may lead, if you follow far enough.” 13 August 1899

“There is a great sense of rest in being in the way of His steps.” 7 March 1915


“The milky-looking glacier torrent spoke with God’s voice this morning – so obedient to its course in its narrow bed, yet just tossing with freedom and swing in every motion. Such a picture of the ‘rivers of living water’ – bound and yet unbound.” 8 August 1899

“Life is grandly simple when the spirit of calculating results and consequences, even spiritual results and consequences, has been left among the things that are behind, when obedience is the one thing that matters, when God Himself, and no mere ‘experience’ is our exceeding great reward.” A Ripened Life


“A flower that stops short at its flowering misses its purpose. We were created for more than our own spiritual development; reproduction, not mere development is the goal of matured being – reproduction in other lives.” Parables of the Cross

“Holiness, not safety, is the end of our calling.” Parables of the Cross


“Are our hands off the very blossom of our life? Are all things – even the treasure that He has sanctified – held loosely, ready to be parted with, without a struggle, when He asks for them?” Parables of the Cross

“And a like independence is the characteristic of the new flood of resurrection life
that comes to our souls as we learn this fresh lesson of dying – a grand independence of any earthly thing to satisfy or soul. The liberty of those who have nothing to lose because they have nothing to keep. We can do without anything while we have God.” Parables of the Cross


“I am beginning to see that it is out of a low place that one can best believe.”

“The same lesson is reiterated all round by God: the simple ABC lesson that inadequacy and inefficiency on the human side are His conditions for working. ‘He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know His work.’” 27 January 1904


“’The clouds are the dust of His Feet.’ The beauty of that old line of Hebrew poetry came afresh today. The thickest of the cloud storm would be just where He is passing. We see the dust now. We shall see His Footprints when He has passed along the way.” 17 August 1919; 20 September 1924

“Take the very hardest thing in your life – the place of difficulty, outward or inward, and expect God to triumph gloriously in that very spot. Just there He can bring your soul into blossom!” Parables of the Cross

“All the more beautiful will be God’s triumph when it comes. The highest music is not the music where all goes on simple and straight and sweet, but where discord suddenly resolves tensions with harmony.” 12 February 1905

“We love to see the impossible done. And so does God.” 2 May 1899

“Yes: face it out to the end: cast away every shadow of hope on the human side as a positive hindrance to the Divine; heap the difficulties together recklessly, and pile on as many more as you can find: you cannot get beyond that blessed climax of impossibility. Let faith swing out on Him. He is the God of the impossible.” The Glory of the Impossible

“The things that are impossible with men are possible with God. May it not be that the human impossibility is just the very thing that set His Hand free? And that it is the things which are possible for us to do that He is in a measure to let alone?” 22 May 1899

“’God loves with a great love the men whose heart is bursting with a passion for the impossible.’ Oh to learn how to fight through the battle in the heavenly places till the day comes. To attempt the impossible and expect the impossible it comes back to that again.” The Glory of the Impossible


“We have such faith that it is God’s way, just because it is so unlike ours!” 26 November 1904

“May He gather all the fragments of the Spirit’s working into His eternal purposes and keep them there.” 28 December 1912

“He is not bound to reproduce. He is the Creator: have we ever let our hearts and hopes go out to the glory of that Name? Look at the tiny measure of creative power given to man, in music, poetry, art – where there is a spark of it, how it refuses to be fettered by repeating itself. The history of His wonders in the past is a constant succession of new things, and He is not at the end of His resources yet.” The Glory of the Impossible

“For the world’s salvation was not wrought out by the three years in which He went about doing good, but in the three hours of darkness in which He hung, stripped and nailed, in uttermost exhaustion of spirit – soul and body – till His heart broke. So little wonder for us, if the price of power is weakness.” 27 October 1924


“Such a day of small things still, but on God’s terms, and that is enough. Size as well as time and space count nothing with Him.” 1 January 1902

“These crystals have a word for us too, for each of them sprang out of some atom of a growing point round which clustered crystallized this endless beauty of form. If we may but be a crystallizing point from which God can work, it matters nothing, how insignificant that starting point.” 8 November 1927

“How childish it must seem to them, up in heaven, when we treasure the importance of a thing by its size. ‘“Fulfilling His word’ ‘The meeting of His wishes’ – that is all that matters.” 24 October 1920


“We are proving these days that time is nothing to God: nothing in its speeding nothing in its halting. He is the God that ‘inhabiteth eternity.’” 12 December 1920

“I am full of hope that when God delays in fulfilling our little thoughts, it is to leave Himself room to work out His great ones.” 29 December 1903

“We have to do with One who “inhabiteth eternity” and works in its infinite leisure.” 2 May 1914


“God only knows the endless possibilities that lie folded in each one of us!” Parables of the Cross

“All little miniature beginnings but all ‘beautiful in their time’, like the dark green August oranges in the court below. The fact that they have got thus far into being is more than a promise. Like all the promises of God they are (given the conditions) an accomplishment begun. His ‘Yea’ only waits our ‘Amen.’” 11 August 1906

“In all the outward withholdings of this year, God, as is His wont, has been “opening” a door where He closes a window.” 6 May 1904


“We ourselves are ‘saved to save’ – we are made to give – to let everything go if only we may have more to give. The pebble takes in all the rays of light that fall on it, but the diamond flashes them out again: every little facet is a means, not simply of drinking more, but of giving more out.” Parables of the Cross

“The still pool of living water lies in every saved soul, keeping life within that little plot of ground, but there is a world of difference between a pool and a river. A river is wide open to its source, and as wide open to the needs lower down. We need all barriers down man-ward as well as Godward – to believe for the outflowing as definitely as the inflowing.” 3 August 1895

“Faith is to be exercised as much in giving as in anything else. There should be a definite going out of faith over every gift, of every kind, that the touch of God’s blessing may come with it.” 23 December 1901

“I have been thinking lately what a work for God it is, just loving people. . . . Sometimes all we can do is to keep them near us, and show the kindness of God to them, and hold them in faith and prayer till He comes to seek them.” 25 April 1891

“How the angels must watch the first day when that light reaches a new spot on this earth that God so loves – and the great wall of darkness is pushed back one tiny bit – and oh the joy of being allowed to go with His message that first day. How can His people hold back from that joy while one corner remains unvisited by the Dayspring!” March 1895

“Oh, the joy of getting lower and nearer and nearer the people. I think the time will come when we shall have no fixed plans, but just wander and stay and wander on again as the openings come and go.” 15 January 1895

“For the first time this evening we go out for a turn, after sunset, just along the lane leading out of the town in the place where you can see the irregular line of palms against the dead blue of the Eastern sky, the ‘old gold’ of walls and sand still clutching the western sky and the dark brown silhouette of a camel here and there – oh how I love it!” 16 April 1900

“A bee comforted me very much this morning concerning the desultoriness that troubles me in our work. There seems so infinitely much to be done, that nothing gets done thoroughly. . . We seem only to touch souls and leave them. And that was what the bee was doing, figuratively speaking. He was hovering among some blackberry sprays, just touching the flowers here and there in a very tentative way, yet all unconsciously, life – life – life – life was left behind at every touch, as the miracle-working pollen grains were transferred to the place where they could set the unseen spring working. We have only to see to it that we are surcharged, like the bees, with potential life. It is God, and His eternity that will do the work. Yet He needs His wandering, desultory bees!” 9 July 1907

Please enjoy these web-friendly inspirational quotes and images from Lilias Trotter – you are free to share on your social media pages or blogs.
Sign Up for our Newsletter!
We respect your privacy.