The Life of Annie Johnson Flint
Few mortals have experienced an agony that matches what Annie Johnson Flint has suffered. The writer to ‘He Giveth More Grace’ and similar other hymns.
The well-revered song was published when the world was plagued by the war in the 1940s and she suffered inexplicable pain, loss, and suffering.
Considering her limitless anguish, she could be easily excused for penning down depressing lyrics, but she had the mettle to shift the focus on Jesus and she wrote of faith and hope that fills us with courage and dreams even to this day.
Annie Johnson Flint Endless Suffering
Anne Johnson Flint was born on Christmas Eve of 1866 in the modest town of Vineland. Her father Eldon and mother, Jean welcomed the little child as a wonderful Christmas present. He was of English descent and her mother was Scottish.
Nearly three years after Annie’s birth when all seemed to go well, the joy of Christmas melted in the pool of sorrow when her mother breathed her last right after she gave birth to another bundle of joy, Annie’s little sister.
Her mother was only twenty-three then and her father wasn’t doing well. For almost two years, her bereaved family lived together with Eldon, their widowed friend.
Eldon had her own children and she made it evident in all possible ways that Annie or her sister wasn’t really welcome there.
It was mere providence that a local schoolteacher who came to be known as untie Susie’ heard about the distressing situation. She proposed to a childless couple, Mr. and Mrs. Flint to adopt the two girls.
But it would require the willingness of their father, Eldon, to proceed with the adoption. And he agreed on two critical grounds.
First, he was severely ill which resulted in his death, and secondly, the Flint family was Baptists. Annie’s father had an aspiration
By God’s grace, the couple offered a warm and loving Christian home to the two young girls. Soon after, their surname was given to Flint.
The Flints moved to a small town near their rural home. The children were educated on the Christian gospel and the teachings of the Holy Book framed every single aspect of her life.
Annie Johnson’s Faith in Jesus Christ
The famous hymn writer was just eight years old when some profound changes took place. The Flint family had just moved away from the countryside.
Even though this was the case she maintained a love for nature in her heart and this painted the rest of her life.
This move from the countryside coincided with several evangelistic meetings in the town. At the age of eight only, she accepted Christ as her personal savior.
In the later part of her life, Anne testified of these experiences and stated even though she was young, she was really convinced that Jesus Christ had saved her.
Even before she became a teenager, Anne Johnson Flint started developing an interest in reading as well as writing – specifically poetry.
It’s worth mentioning that this was further encouraged by Mr. Flint’s expansive library.
It became the custom of the family to gather the reading materials of their favorite authors and even attempt to jot down something themselves.
Annie Johnson Flint Temper Issues
Jesus Christ was in her heart and the Lord was sanctifying the would-be hymn writer through various life experiences.
She suffered from an uncontrollable temper at certain points but became successful in learning the virtues of grace and overcame the tendency.
She admitted her impatience and how the Lord worked on her to mend this part of her character.
She was prepared to face deeper trials that would test her patience and persistence to the extremities.
Soon after she got the position of a schoolteacher in her native town, and she got an opportunity to teach at her alma mater.
But as misfortune would have it, she started developing symptoms of arthritis. This rose rapidly, and soon forced her to give up the post as she failed to even move.
The tragedy was further deepened by the sad demise of her foster parents after a gap of a few months.
Annie Johnson Flint was overwhelmed with a deep sense of grief while her health was deteriorating mercilessly.
Doctors opined that she was soon going to become crippled due to the advancing effects of arthritis in her body.
Be it her illness or her sadness or the desperate pecuniary crisis – she held on to her faith in the Lord as her true savior.
How Annie Johnson Flint Started Writing Hymns
According to what a contemporary writer had said, her gift of hymn writing might have been born during the time when she had to live under the care of other people.
In the later part of her life, Annie had always stated that her hymns blossomed from a universal need rather than her personal sufferings.
But there is no denying that she could never have mastered such command over words that truthfully depicted what her heart believed if she hadn’t undergone such a tremendous crisis herself.
It is through the notes, letters, and poems that she wrote that her faith in Jesus Christ was sustained.
Over time, her physical condition had worsened to such an extent that she couldn’t even hold the pen properly.
But it was her unflinching determination that probed her to shove the pen between her fingers and despite her hurting wrist and bent fingers, she penned down her most profound spiritual experiences.
She began with a motive to find solace but then moved on to producing hand-lettered gift books and beautiful cards.
Glorifying God Through Hymns Despite Her Suffering
Annie Johnson Flint was a believer and she thought that God had sent her on earth with the motive of glorifying Himself through her.
With the passing of time, her suffering became even worse, and no one can tell the extent to which she has undergone pain – both mental and physical.
For over forty years of her life, there was hardly a day that passed without suffering, and she breathed her last on 8th September 1932.
But the timeless hymns and praises to the Lord she sang have remained to fill up with faith and hope in the darkest hours of our lives.
Below are more hymns’ lyrics and stories: