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May 8, 2021

Ann Farabee column: Weak but strong

By Ann Farabee

On an early March morning in 1995, my family gathered around the bedside of my mother. She was on her final earthly journey, as she was heading to see her savior face-to-face.

All we knew to do as a family was to be present, to hold on to her, to pray and to sing.

This is a song I remember us singing to her that day:

Jesus loves me — this I know.

For the Bible tells me so.

Little ones to him belong.

They are weak — but he is strong.

I wonder how Anna Bartlett Warner felt when she wrote these words. Surely they brought tears to her eyes. It was set to music by William Bradbury, who also added the chorus. She taught it to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy. Soldiers sang it on the battlefield. It became even more well known through a picture of a dying child being comforted by the words. Anna could never have had any idea of the hope and peace that song would bring to the world for generations to come.

The words are so simple: Jesus loves us. We know that because the Bible tells us. We are his little ones. We belong to him. We are weak. He is strong.

When my mother breathed her last breath, I never thought I would regain my strength. I was too weak. But when we are weak, we can become strong. How do I know?

Second Corinthians 12:10 says, “For when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my life.”

Isaiah 40:29 says, “He gives strength to the weak.”

We all go through times of being weak. Some of those times may have been in seasons of difficulty: the death of a loved one, pain, sickness, disappointment, depression, discouragement, financial loss, fear, anxiety or a broken heart.

I am so thankful God has provided a way to give us strength in our times of weakness. How can we find that strength?

1. Pick up God’s word. Open it. Turn the pages. Read the words. The Holy Spirit will give our weakness strength through those words, for God’s word is alive and active, and still speaks to our hearts today.

2. Talk to the father. We may feel weak and weary. Our flesh and heart may fail us. But — we are his little ones. We belong to him. He wants us to talk to him.

Weak but strong?

Yes, we are.

Because God is our strength.

Because God gives us strength.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or

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