The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV).
The first time I heard Annie Johnson Flint’s story was during a Gaither Homecoming program. Gloria Gaither told the story of a courageous woman who supported herself through writing, even though she was stricken with debilitating arthritis that eventually left her an invalid.
In the end, when she couldn’t hold a pencil, she held a piece of chalk and wrote on a board suspended above her bed.
When you read Annie Johnson Flint’s poems, you do not hear “Woe is me” in her verses. What you hear, is a steady peace, an active joy, and a quiet trust. Annie learned faith as a child, as a woman she learned to trust.
Faith believes God can, while trust rests in knowing He will. Many have learned faith, but struggle with trust. “I believe God can do it. I just don’t know if He will.”
And there’s the problem.
When my peace is disturbed, my joy dwindles. My focus turns inward. I no longer offer sacrifices of praise, but worship at the altar of self. My trust waivers. I question God. How long? Why? When? Will You?
Jesus never lied to His listeners. He promised troubles and tribulations. But the object is to overcome them, not be overtaken by them.
Annie knew that joy, like peace, is a fruit. It isn’t found in happy circumstances.
It’s found in Christ Jesus. It is proof of His Spirit working in our lives. It is us decreasing, Christ increasing.
When the winds of adversity blew, rocking her to and fro, Annie, like a tree used it to her advantaged and sent her roots deeper into the softened soil. She raised her limbs heavenward and soaked in the Son. She drank the water of the Word and ate of the Bread of Life. She did not bend to self-pity but was strengthened by God’s Spirit. Her fruit remains with us today, a testimony to His faithfulness. And what a testimony it is!
What God Hath Promised~ Annie Johnson Flint~ Public Domain
God hath not promised skies always blue;
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love. Read more here–
You can read more about Annie Johnson Flint by searching her name or her poems and songs, What God Hath Promised and He Giveth More Grace.