“Deep the waves may be and cold,
But Jehovah is our refuge,
And His promise is our hold;
For the Lord Himself hath said it,
He, the faithful God and true:
“When thou comest to the waters
Thou shalt not go down, BUT THROUGH.”
Seas of sorrow, seas of trial,
Bitterest anguish, fiercest pain,
Rolling surges of temptation
Sweeping over heart and brain
They shall never overflow us
For we know His word is true;
All His waves and all His billows
He will lead us safely through.
Threatening breakers of destruction,
Doubt’s insidious undertow,
Shall not sink us, shall not drag us
Out to ocean depths of woe;
For His promise shall sustain us,
Praise the Lord, whose Word is true!
We shall not go down, or under,
For He saith, “Thou passest THROUGH”
― Annie Johnson Flint
Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) was born on Christmas Eve in the small town of Vineland, New Jersey. Three years later, little Annie would lose her mother, Jean Johnson, who died as she gave birth to Annie’s baby sister. Her father, Eldon 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.
At the age of 8, Annie came to faith in Christ. She always believed that at that time, she was truly converted. Though she did not join the church until 10 years later, she never doubted that “the eternal work was then wrought.” She strongly opposed the idea that young children cannot comprehend spiritual truths. She felt that divine mysteries were often plainer to the simple faith of a child than to many adults, blinded by their own prejudices and intellectual doubts.
It was about the time that Annie passed through this spiritual experience that the poetic interest began to awaken within her. She tells of the thrill of her life when she realized that she could express herself in verse. She was kind-hearted, merry and vivacious — a favourite with the boys and girls at school.” A friend wrote: “Every Saturday afternoon we met as a select literary society of two to read our favourite poets, and then we attempted verse ourselves.”
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.
In later years, she always stated that her poems were born of the needs of others and not from her own need; but one knows full well that she never could have written as she did for the comfort and help of thousands of others if she had not had the background of facing those very crises in her own life.
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. Testimonies came from many directions of blessing received, so two card publishers printed some of her greetings and released the first little brochure of her poems. The publication of her booklets and the action of the Sunday School Times linked her up with a worldwide fellowship.