“What is the Use of Repining?”

This song is a little humanistic in its approach.  There’s not always a way to do what you want to do, no matter how much will you may have. 🙂 But the general thrust of the song (which appears at the end of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s The Long Winter) is very valuable for Christians.  We should not be easily stopped, and we certainly shouldn’t spend all our time “sitting and sighing” and forgetting to be grateful for what we have.

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

Harry Clifton

This life is a difficult riddle,
For how many people we see
With faces as long as a fiddle,
That ought to look shining with glee.
I am sure in this world there are plenty
Of good things enough for us all.
And yet there’s not one out of twenty
But thinks that his share is too small.

Then what is the use of repining?
For where there’s a will there’s a way.
And tomorrow the sun may be shining
Although it is cloudy today.

Do you ever hear tell of the spider
That tried up the wall hard to climb?
If not, just take that as a guider.
You’ll find it will serve you in time.
Nine times it tried hard to be mounting
And every time it stuck fast.
But it tried hard again without counting
And of course it succeeded at last.


Some grumble because they’re not married,
And cannot procure a good wife.
Whilst others they wish they had tarried,
And long for a bachelor’s life.
To me it is very bewild’rin’,
Some grumble it must be in fun
Because they have too many children,
And others because they have none.


Do you think that by sitting and sighing
You’ll ever obtain all you want?
It’s cowards alone that are crying
And foolishly saying “I can’t.”
It’s only by plodding and striving
And labouring up the steep hill
Of life, that you’ll ever be thriving
Which you’ll do if you’ve only the will.




The world can manage, even without the Lord, to see the need for perseverance and thankfulness, and the folly of a complaining attitude, and quitting when things get hard.  How much more should Christians be persistent and grateful?


About Jon Gleason

Former Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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1 Response to “What is the Use of Repining?”

  1. Ruth Gleason says:

    Such a good reminder!

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