How God conquers evil
Subtitle: Why this long valley of suffering, waiting and pain?
There are many who think to reverence the Most High by assuming that He can and should do anything or everything that pleases Him in a mere moment. In their eyes power is a grander thing than love. But His Love is higher than His omnipotence. See what it cost Him to redeem the world! He did not find that easy, or to be done in a moment without pain or toil. Yes, God is omnipotent -- awfully omnipotent. For He wills, effects, and perfects the thing which, because of the bad in us, He has to carry out in suffering and sorrow. Evil is a hard thing, even for God to overcome. Yet thoroughly and altogether and triumphantly will He overcome it. But not by crushing it underfoot -- any god of man's idea could do that! -- but by conquest of heart over heart, of life over life, of life over death, of love over all. Nothing shall be too hard for God that fears not pain, but will deliver and make true and blessed at His own severest cost.
George MacDonald, "Down the Hill," The Gentlewoman's Choice, edited by Michael R. Phillips.