With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: I Look Not Back

Sunday, January 1, 2017

I Look Not Back

~ Blessing be yours in this New Year ~
Happy 2017!

I heard this beautiful poem recently while listening online to Alistair Begg, Senior pastor at  Parkside Church, Cleveland, Ohio. So much encouragement and truth penned by Annie Johnson Flint.

Curious to know more about Annie, I share the following excerpts from Hymnary.org:

The biographical account of poetess/hymn-writer Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) is a story of both heartbreak and triumph. Born on Christmas Eve in the small town of Vineland, New Jersey, she was welcomed by Eldon and Jean Johnson as their greatest earthly gift. Three years later, little Annie would lose her mother, who died as she gave birth to Annie’s baby sister. Mr. Johnson, who himself was suffering from an incurable disease, willed the children to the Flint family who would bring them up in the Baptist faith.

It was during a revival meeting at the age of 8 that the Spirit of God brought Annie’s young heart to faith in Christ.

Annie was generally disposed to be cheerful and optimistic. She looked on the bright side of life and was able to get much enjoyment out of life. Her forward-looking, lifted-up head was a characteristic attitude and was typical of the courage she was to manifest in later life.

After high school, she spent one year in teacher training and had a position offered to her, but felt that she was really needed at home. Later in her second year of teaching, arthritis began to show itself. She grew steadily worse until it became difficult for her to walk at all, and she was soon obliged to give up her work, followed by three years of increasing helplessness. The death of both of her adoptive parents within a few months of each other left Annie and her sister alone again. There was little money in the bank, and the twice-orphaned children had come to a real “Red Sea place” in their lives.

Her verses provided a solace for her in the long hours of suffering. Then she began making hand-lettered cards and gift books, and decorating some of her own verses.Two card publishers printed some of her greetings and released the first little brochure of her poems.

She put into poetry words that she titled, “What God Hath Promised.” And through those words and many others, she became convinced that God intended to glorify Himself through her in her weak, earthen vessel. She could also say with Paul, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” She believed that God had laid her aside for a purpose, even though that purpose was obscure to her at times.


Ann said...

What a lovely poem and story about Annie. Happy New Year

Karen said...

Thank you for posting this. I had never read this poem or her bio, but I have treasured other songs and poems written by her. New Year blessings to you and your family!

Janettessage.blogspot.com said...

WOW!! What an encouraging word for the New Year. Thanks for researching and sharing. Happy New Year.

NanaDiana said...

What a wonderful story about that woman. She was extra-ordinary within a life that had much sadness in it. Thanks for the piece on this, Lorraine. Blessings and Happy New Year to you. xo Diana

Debby Ray said...

I've not seen this poem before. It is absolutely so appropriate! Happy New Year!

Cheryl said...

What an inspiring story! The beautiful poem has quite a message, born out of living through difficulty and learning the truth of His faithfulness.

Heather said...

Hello and Happy New Year!! hope you have a super blessed year in 2017 ~thanks for sharing that lovely poem xx ~Heather

Val said...

I love your poem and your blog! Thanks for visiting mine. And I really appreciate Mildred sharing with her friends.

Debbie said...

I am behind, but I am so glad I didn't miss this beautiful poem and inspiring story. It is always soo encouraging to see or read of someone who has leaned on God in their great hardships, and seen Him to be so faithful! Happy New Year to you and your sweet family!

Adrienne said...

I've always loved Annie Johnson Flint's poems. My mother and father had great voices and in their ministry through the years they sang one of her songs quite often. Thank you for sharing this, my friend. I needed it today! My dear, little mother is nearing the end of her journey and I've been caring for her since the day after Christmas. Happy New Year to you and your dear ones.


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