He Giveth More Grace

Many years ago, I first heard Ravi Zacharias share the story of a woman named Annie Johnson Flint. She was a prolific writer whose poems and hymns have touched thousands of lives globally.

What amazed about her was not merely the wonderful and touching poems and hymns, but also the inspiration and story behind her poems and hymns. A singular theme that ran through Flint’s life was excruciating pain and suffering.  She has endured these adversity and used her writing to demonstrate to the world how God can be glorified by trials and tribulations. 

“She was born in New Jersey, where her parents died when she was just 5 years old. She and her sister lived for 2 unhappy years with a widow who had 2 children of her own and very limited income.

Then a childless couple named Flint adopted her and her sister. They deeply loved Jesus and the girls. Annie received the Savior as her own at 8 years of age. She taught school for 3 years until severe arthritis made it no longer possible. Within 2 additional years she was unable to walk.

She moved to Clifton Springs, NY, in hope of finding a cure. Instead, she had to give up her dreams of being a concert pianist and live in constant pain, writing with twisted hands and body.

Most of her life, she was an invalid, blind and in constant pain and suffering. Yet she wrote such beautiful poems and hymns about God’s love, grace and strength in her life that encourages and impacts the lives of those who read and heard them.

I realized that a poem is not so much about what is written, but what matters is who had written it too, for the life of the person, her experiences, feelings and thoughts that inspired the poem is what gives the poem the credibility, the authenticity and the depth of emotion that allows its readers to relate to it.

At one point, after Dr. Zacharias had recited one of Annie’s famous poems, He Giveth More Grace, he asked the conference attendees this question, “Would any of you be willing to go through such pain and suffering just to be able to write poems and hymns like that?”

There could be many reasons why God had allowed so much pain and suffering in her life, but one thing I realized is that maybe God allowed her to go through so much is so that she can write about her experience and journey and lessons in her poems and hymns, to bless and touch the lives of many people.”

He Giveth More Grace, is written based on the verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Annie sought always to leave everything with her Lord. After nearly 50 years of suffering submitted to Him, her last words were, “It’s all right.”
He Giveth More Grace

He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, 
He sendeth more strength when the labors increase; 
To added affliction He addeth His mercy; 
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace. 

When we have exhausted our store of endurance, 
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done, 
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources, 
Our Father’s full giving is only begun. 

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision, 
Our God ever yearns His resources to share; 
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing; 
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limit; His grace has no measure. 
His pow’r has no boundary known unto men; 
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus, 
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!

Annie Johnson Flint