I try to draw parallels but I can’t. I have had bad times, and I am sure I’ll continue to have them. But never a song has this broken body sung that I can compare with Annie Johnson Flint’s. I am trying to memorise one of her poems, one written so perfectly that it feels like she is the voice inside the head that one was unable to write down in words, until now.
WHAT GOD HATH PROMISED
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep.
I understand if you are having a trying day. I had one just yesterday and with events of the present and future not in my control, I won’t be surprised if today turns out to be “one of the worst days of my life”. But as Annie explains, “the skys will not always be blue”; in fact, she lived a life that perhaps was quite often not blue. And if such beauty can still result from such a broken, beaten life that last walked the earth in 1932… I am sure you and I can at least try to give our best.