Annie was a poet and hymn writer who lived from 1866 to 1932, and I was recently touched by her story. For most of her adult life she was gripped by arthritis, in great and constant pain, and was an invalid dependent on others for her personal care. But in spite of all her adversity, she could write this hymn:
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labours increase,
To added afflictions he addeth his mercy,
To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half-done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
His love has no limits, his grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of his infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
I have known people over the years who have a similar spirit, finding depths in God I can only marvel at. People who always seem to find something positive in their pain and suffering. A biographer wrote of Annie, “she felt what she wrote, and out of the crucible of suffering she was able to administer that comfort to others wherewith she herself had been comforted of God.” So if you are in pain today, remember Annie and be encouraged, as you draw on the “infinite riches in Jesus”. And for those of us who are not, let’s thank God for our health, and look for ways in which we can comfort and support those who are not so fortunate, using the resources God has given us.