“He (God) gives power to those who are tired and worn out; He offers strength to the weak.”
Annie Johnson Flint wrote a poem titled: “But God”. The poem went like this: “I know not, but God knows...Oh, blessed rest from fear!...All my unfolding days...To Him are plain and clear...Each anxious, puzzled why?...From doubt or dread that grows...Finds answer in this thought;...I know not, but He knows...I cannot, but God can;...Oh, balm for all my care!...The burden that I drop...His hand will lift and bear...This is my strength, to know...I cannot, but God can...”.
According to website preceptaustin.org, Annie Johnson was born in 1866 in Vineland, New Jersey (USA). Because of the early deaths of her parents she and her younger sister became orphans.
They were adopted by a Mr. and Mrs. Flint and thus her name, Annie Johnson Flint. The Flints were faithful Christians and they loved the sisters. “Later Annie was converted at a Methodist revival meeting.” It was after a spiritual experience that her poetic awareness began to develop.
When Annie finished high school she attended a normal school for one year. After one year she was offered a teaching position. During her second year of teaching she began to experience arthritis. It grew steadily worse until it was difficult for her to walk. She found it very challenging to finish the third year.
The doctors told her that she would become a helpless invalid. Even with bent fingers and swollen joints she wrote.
At the beginning of her writing she did not think of it as a ministry because it provided solace to her in her suffering. Then, beginning with the making of cards and gift books that contained her poetry, her ministry began. For 40 years she suffered with pain but she pressed on writing poetry. She always believed God had work for her to do. Her faith in the goodness and mercy of God never changed.
In the Bible there are examples of godly Christians who experienced physical challenges. However, they did not allow those challenges to detour them from their faithfulness to God. For example, Timothy. Paul wrote a letter to Timothy who appeared to have a recurring stomach problem. He stated that Timothy was “sick so often”, and he needs to drink less water, and drink more wine because of his “stomach” (NLT).
Another example is Paul. Paul was given a “thorn in my flesh” to keep him “from getting proud”. He prayed three times that it would be taken away. Each time, Jesus told him: “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness.”. From that point on Paul boasted of his weakness, “so that the power of Christ may work through me...For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NLT).
Weakness? Allow God's power to shine through your weakness like the examples of Annie Johnson Flint, Timothy, and Paul. He will make you strong to use you for His ministry. “God can”!
Lord God, thank You for giving Your gracious strength to us. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington