No Limits: The Remarkable Life of Annie Johnson Flint


Grandkids say the funniest things. Like, “Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no children of their own. They like other peoples’ kids.” “Grandmothers are usually fat but not too fat to tie up your shoe laces.” “They can take their teeth and gums out.” “When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves or caterpillars.”

Our granddaughter Eowyn said, “Sometimes I’m scared at night, but I don’t come to you, Mommy, because I pray instead.”

Some say a child is too young to understand anything about God. But Jesus said there are things God has hidden from the learned, and revealed to little children.

Annie was born in 1866 in New Jersey. Her mother died giving birth to Annie’s sister. Her dad died soon after and the two were brought up by the Flint family who took them to church. At 8, Annie Johnson Flint trusted Jesus as Saviour. She said “God’s eternal work” had begun in her life.

Writing poetry soon became her love. She trained to be a teacher, but arthritis arrived. The agonizing pain soon forced her to abandon her work. Annie’s adoptive parents died within a few months of each other, and the twice-orphaned sisters were alone again. When doctors informed Annie that she would be an invalid, hopelessness shrouded her.

She soon began making hand-lettered cards and writing poetry. When a publisher released a booklet of her inspiring poems, letters arrived from around the world. Somehow, she coaxed her gnarled fingers to respond. Her letters were as rich as her poems and always included some refreshing humour.

In time, unable to write because of the pain, she used her knuckles to type on a typewriter. Though cancer and blindness threatened to cripple her, she hung on to the verse: “My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” One day she wrote a song that would be sung by millions:

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.

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.

Young and old, strong and weak, God uses us. Next time we see a child, may they inspire in us thanks for what God can do, thanks for what they may become.

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